Poachers in Africa are encroaching on wildlife land and killing rhinos in travel hot spots now devoid of visitors due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Nepal has succeeded in saving the Indian rhino from poachers
Despite the spell of natural disasters, Nepal is a model to be followed in natural resource management. Here’s how it has succeeded in protecting the one-horned, or Indian rhino.
Biodiversity is the main character of the other, happy side of Nepal. Although recent earthquakes have had devastating effects on people and cities, animal species seem to have found precisely in Nepal their ideal shelter.
The population of Indian rhinos, also called one-horned rhinos, increased reaching 645 individuals this year, and most of them live in the Chitwan National Park in the south-west of the country. It is a substantial growth compared to data registered a decade ago: in 2005, in fact, there were 375 one-horned rhinos. And there’s more: the growth trend is considered to be incredibly solid, since over the last 3 years no rhino poaching episode has been reported.
“At a time when the world is facing difficulties to protect and conserve the wildlife including rhinos, Nepal has seen an extraordinary improvement in wild life conservation. It is definitely a rare successful conservation story in the world, where park officials and the Nepalese army have managed to succeed in anti-poaching activities,” said Diwakar Chapagain, World Wildlife Fund official, during an interview for The Guardian.
It is a success that counterweights the disaster of South Africa, which is currently facing the very likely extinction of the white rhinoceros, after a year characterised by a further increase in poaching. In fact, 1,215 white rhinos have been killed in 2014 alone, 1,004 in 2013, and 668 in 2012. In 2005 (the same year taken as reference for Nepal) only 13 rhinos have been killed in South Africa, a figure that underlines the current dreadful trend.
Rhinos are killed for their horn, used in traditional medicines in Asia, where it is illegally traded. The therapeutic properties are not even medically proven, and this phenomenon is leading to the extinction of many animal species and subspecies, mainly in Africa.
Actor and environmental activist Leonardo DiCaprio has contributed two million dollars to a fund to protect Virunga National Park in Congo from threats such as terrorism, the coronavirus and poaching.
Bangladesh suffered widespread damage as a result of Cyclone Amphan. Yet the Sundarbans mangrove forest acted as a natural barrier protecting the country from further destruction, as it has done countless times before.
For the first time in seventeen years, Iceland’s two main whaling companies won’t resume whale hunting. The announcement concerns this year’s season but could carry into the future.
The relationship between the coronavirus and wildlife is complex: while the pandemic may lead to a reduction in the illegal trade in wild animals, it may also encourage it in other respects.
The largest coral reef in the world is severely threatened by climate change, but researchers are developing strategies that could contribute to saving the Great Barrier Reef.
NGO Free the Bears has opened a mountain sanctuary for moon bears in Laos. With the government’s help, it aims to close all bile farms by 2022.
The Covid-19 pandemic is a planetary wake-up call from the Earth to humanity. On Earth Day, over 500 organisations launched a global call for urgent action with the health and wellbeing of all peoples and the planet at its core.
Pollution in India has fallen drastically without the fumes of cars and factories. It’s been thirty years since the Himalayas were last visible from such a distance.