Rhinoceros Poaching

Topics: Rhinoceros, Supply and demand, Chitwan National Park Pages: 3 (811 words) Published: April 4, 2014
RHINOCEROS POACHING
Poaching
Despite of the protective measure, prosecution of this animal continues with the exceptionally high and illegal price on the rhino horn in clandestine market. In Kaziranga National Park, 69 rhinos were poached during the period of 1988 to 1991 (Bhattacharya 1993). In Nepal, data shows that intensity of rhino poaching is depend on the action taken by the management authority. During 1976 to 1983 poaching was completely stopped due to the Army involvement in the conservation of rhinoceros. Since 1984, poachers restarted poaching and reached maximum at 1992, about 18 rhinoceros were killed in this year. The Anti-Poaching Units (APU) was established to control the situation and this measure did work and minimized the poaching and was virtually stopped by 1995. However, from 1996, poaching was started again, out of 98 rhinoceros died during the period of May 1996 to July 2000, 28 were from poaching (DNPWC 2000a). It shows that slack in protection due to the political instability, transfer of APU staff and the merging of Gainda Gasti (Rhino Patrol Unit) to the forest guard enhanced the rhino poaching in Chitwan Valley (Fig 1.].

Fig 1. Rhino poaching trend in Royal Chit wan National Park Data Source: DNPWC 2000

Heavy poaching in Africa and Asia (Williams 1993, ARSG 1999) is mainly for the high priced rhino horn and it has been proved that better protection is the only successful means so far to protect this animal from extinction. Thus, to decrease incentive to poach rhino, management should either increase the opportunity cost of crime through imposed wage elsewhere or increase the probability and severity of the punishment or decrease the actual profit from the crime (Williams 1993).

Rhinoceros in Nepal
In Nepal, rhinoceros population was estimated at about 1000 animals until 1950 in Chitwan Valley. Rhinoceros populations were dropped down to less than 100 individuals during late 1960s (DNPWC 2000a). After a successful...
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