Improved Anti-Poaching with Asian Rhino Project

The habitat of the Greater One-horned Rhinoceros is shrinking, but within the few areas in India where they remain, populations are on the rise.  This is largely due to anti-poaching patrols in protected areas. However, the increased population pressure causes rhinos to wander outside protected areas in search of new habitat.

This project was aimed at strengthening anti-poaching activities and monitoring stray rhinos around Kaziranga National Park in Assam. It allowed three forest squads to be specially trained and equipped to capture and return stray rhinos to the park. The project has also sponsored a speed boat engine, to further strengthen the river-front monitoring in the northern boundary of Kaziranga, both for stray rhino and poachers. In 2009 poaching incidents decreased by approximately 50 per cent outside Kaziranga from 2008. In addition, two rhino poachers were arrested outside the park. This pair had been involved in more than 40 per cent of rhino poaching incidents outside the protected area. In February-March 2009, four rhinos strayed out of the park and all were returned safely.

Taronga Western Plains Zoo is active in conservation breeding programs for the White Rhino and Black Rhino as well as the Greater One-horned Rhino. In 2008, the world’s first IVF Black Rhino embryo was produced at Taronga Western Plains Zoo with the help of partners, the Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research, Berlin.

Asian Rhino Project (ARP) is a non-profit, volunteer organisation raising awareness and support for the three Asian rhinoceros species. The ARP was founded in 2003 by Kerry Crosbie and a small group of fellow zoo keepers.