Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .




Subscribe free to our newsletters via your




















FLORA AND FAUNA
Nepal's rhinos on road to recovery with cross-country move
By Annabel SYMINGTON
Chitwan, Nepal (AFP) April 10, 2017


Rare one-horned rhino killed by poachers in Nepal
Kathmandu (AFP) April 9, 2017 - Poachers have shot dead a one-horned rhinoceros at a national wildlife park in Nepal, officials said Sunday, spotlighting the threat faced by the rare animals.

Officials on Saturday found the male rhino with its horn gouged out in Chitwan National Park, the country's biggest rhino conservation area.

"We performed a post-mortem and found that it had been hit by a bullet on its head," the park's spokesman Nurendra Aryal told AFP.

Aryal said a team had been set up to investigate the incident and security had been tightened at the district borders.

In September last year a rhino died weeks after poachers shot it in the same park, the first of the rare animals to be killed in the country in over two years.

Thousands of one-horned rhinos once roamed the plains of Nepal, but their numbers have plunged over the past century due to poaching and human encroachment on their habitat.

The population decline was particularly dramatic during Nepal's 1996-2006 civil war, when soldiers on anti-poaching duties were redeployed to fight the Maoist guerrilla insurgency.

But the country has since made rapid progress in combating the poachers who kill the animals for their prized horns, drawing praise from conservation groups and activists.

The horns fetch huge prices in some Asian countries where they are used for medicines and jewellery.

Nepal is home to about 645 rhinos, out of which about 600 live in Chitwan National Park.

The park is in the process of relocating five rhinos to another conservation area in far-west Nepal to boost their population.

Shant Raj Jnawali, a rhino expert at WWF, said the latest death highlighted the vulnerability of the animals despite anti-poaching efforts from the community, park wardens and army.

"We hope that the investigation will help us devise new strategies to strengthen protection for these animals," Jnawali said.

Rhino poaching carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in jail and a 100,000-rupee ($1,000) fine.

All hell broke loose as the one-horned rhino stepped out of the crate, the powerful male charging elephant-mounted mahouts relocating him to a new home in Nepal's far west in the hope of shoring up the vulnerable species.

The cantankerous male -- whose single horn keeps him in the crosshairs of wildlife poachers -- is the first to be relocated to Shuklaphanta National Park but will be joined by four females of breeding age.

Finding suitable rhinos for the ambitious relocation program is a marathon effort for the 100-strong team.

Atop elephants they set off at dawn in Chitwan National Park, communicating in brief shouts and hand signals as they fan out across the plain and into the dense jungle.

Thousands of one-horned rhinos once roamed the southern plains of Nepal but rampant poaching and pressures of human encroachment reduced their numbers to around 100 in the later part of last century.

A successful anti-poaching and conservation initiative has seen the population steadily climb over the past decade to around 645.

But new blood was needed in Shuklaphanta National Park, currently home to about eight rhinos, to protect the country's population against threats, said Dr Kanchan Thapa, a biologist from conservation group WWF.

A young female is the first rhino spotted -- a prime candidate -- but as she emerges from the dense bush, a young calf of about nine months follows her out.

Her calf -- which will stay with its mother until it is around two years old -- counts her out of the move. The search continues.

- Painstaking process -

More than three hours later, an excited whisper goes around as another rhino is spotted: a huge male.

The elephants encircle it, slowly encouraging him towards a marksman waiting perched in a tree with a tranquilizer dart gun.

It is a painstaking process: one wrong move could startle the 2-tonne male into charging the elephants or slipping back into the forest.

He moves slowly towards the open plain where the marksman waits, almost veering out of range before coming to a stop within striking distance.

The dart hits the rhino in its flank. It breaks into a run but his lumbering strides gradually slow until he falls to his knees about 100 metres away.

The vets attach a satellite collar around his neck and take blood samples before a dozen men roll him onto a sledge. A tractor is needed to shift him into a crate before the convoy begins a 15-hour overnight journey to his new home.

It is midmorning by the time the truck reaches Shuklaphanta National Park in the far southwestern corner of Nepal.

Anticipation builds as the crate is opened, revealing the vast backside of a sleeping rhino. Despite the long journey, he initially appears reluctant to budge.

But lumbering out of the crate, he suddenly springs to life and charges the truck, butting it a few times with his horn before turning his attention to three elephants standing nearby.

Ploughing headlong into the trio, the rhino leaves a deep gash on the backside of one elephant, panicking the beasts as the mahouts on top try to regain calm.

The rhino stormed into the forest and out of sight, leaving a cloud of dust in its wake.

- 'Like my father' -

The arduous -- and often unpredictable -- task of relocating these rare animals will be replicated at least 30 times over the next few years, as the government repopulates Shuklaphanta and another reserve in Bardia with new rhinos.

The growing population of greater one-horned rhinos -- found only in Nepal and India -- prompted the International Union for Conservation of Nature to remove the species from its endangered list in 2008.

But the illegal trade of rhino horns, which are prized in China and Southeast Asia for their supposed medicinal properties, remains a real threat.

Only three rhinos have been killed by poachers in Nepal in the last four years -- the most recent on Saturday.

But poachers would quickly return if vigilance dropped, said 72-year-old Gam Bahdhur Tamang, a retired member of Nepal's first rhino protection patrol set up by the then-king in 1959.

He spent 31 years patrolling the plains of Chitwan and says he caught around 25 poachers himself. Still today, he prays everyday for the safety of his flock.

"When a rhino dies I feel it like it was my father."

FLORA AND FAUNA
Bees can see much better than thought: scientists
Sydney (AFP) April 7, 2017
Bees have much better eyesight than previously thought, scientists said Friday, allowing them to buzz away from approaching predators and navigate safely. Researchers already knew bees could see colours, but now they have discovered their vision is 30 percent clearer than earlier studies showed. Steven Wiederman, from the University of Adelaide's Medical School, said all previous researc ... read more

Related Links
Darwin Today At TerraDaily.com

Thanks for being here;
We need your help. The SpaceDaily news network continues to grow but revenues have never been harder to maintain.

With the rise of Ad Blockers, and Facebook - our traditional revenue sources via quality network advertising continues to decline. And unlike so many other news sites, we don't have a paywall - with those annoying usernames and passwords.

Our news coverage takes time and effort to publish 365 days a year.

If you find our news sites informative and useful then please consider becoming a regular supporter or for now make a one off contribution.

SpaceDaily Contributor
$5 Billed Once


credit card or paypal
SpaceDaily Monthly Supporter
$5 Billed Monthly


paypal only

Comment using your Disqus, Facebook, Google or Twitter login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

FLORA AND FAUNA
Colombia orders protection for musdlide town

Trump's visceral response prompts Syria strikes

Over 6,000 flee 'terrifying' violence in S.Sudan town: UN

After US strikes, Syria attack victims dream of Assad ouster

FLORA AND FAUNA
Despite EU fines, Greece struggling to promote recycling

Granites could solve riddle of pinpointing metals crucial for low carbon tech

Seaweed: From superfood to superconductor

More annual shareholder meetings go virtual in US

FLORA AND FAUNA
Powers of attraction could decimate deadly starfish

'Zero recovery' for corals in back-to-back Australia bleaching

Most deep-sea animals produce their own light, research shows

UBC invention uses bacteria to purify water

FLORA AND FAUNA
Permafrost more vulnerable than thought: scientists

Arctic Ocean becoming more like the Atlantic, scientists say

Microbial colonizers of Arctic soils are sensitive to future climate change

Some of Greenland's coastal ice will be permanently lost by 2100

FLORA AND FAUNA
New global report on food crisis

A step forward to making crops drought tolerant

New rice fights off drought

Domesticated rice goes rogue

FLORA AND FAUNA
Volcanic arcs form by deep melting of rock mixtures

Panic, damage as three strong quakes hit Philippines

5.1 quake kills one in El Salvador

Project Hotspot

FLORA AND FAUNA
Three killed in Mogadishu army camp attack: military

El Nino can warn on cholera outbreaks in Africa: study

Five dead in jihadist attack in Mali

Boko Haram kills eight, abducts women in NE Nigeria: sources

FLORA AND FAUNA
Putting social science modeling through its paces

Study reveals 10,000 years of genetic continuity in northwest North America

Married couples with shared ancestry tend to have similar genes

Researchers uncover prehistoric art and ornaments from Indonesian 'Ice Age'




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News








The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2017 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement