The Indian Rhinoceros Brett Chody

The Indian Rhinoceros, scientifically known as Rhinoceros unicornis, is a species of rhinoceros that is on the endangered list.

The Indian Rhino was put on the Endangered List in 1986 because of poaching and habitat loss. It remained on the endangered list until 1996, and now it is considered vulnerable because of increase of population.

The Indian Rhinoceros is unique because it has one horn.

Diagram of the Indian Rhino

The Indian Rhinoceros is native to India and Nepal, but also has populations in Bangladesh and Bhutan.

The Indian Rhinoceros became endangered because of poaching and habitat loss. They are targets of poaching because their horn is used illegally in Chinese Medicine. Their habitats have been destroyed because of invasive plants, reduction of their habitats due to people building on them, and overgrazing of their foods by domesticated animals.

Thankfully, the population of Indian Rhinos is increasing due to intense conservation efforts and taking them into protection. There are approximately 2600 Indian Rhinos in the wild today, a 4000% increase since the 1960s, when there were 65 Indian Rhinos alive.

Indian Rhinos live in grasslands and wetlands and usually graze on plants, with occasional fruits and seeds.

Rhinos contribute to the biodiversity because when they eat seeds, they distribute them after they’ve been digested and are disposed of, increasing the land in which trees grow.

An Indian Rhino grazing

Almost all Indian Rhinos have been moved into protected areas, such as national parks. Where the rhinos are located, there is a significant amount of security so there are no opportunities for poaching, the habitat is stable, and the rhinos can mate to increase population.

An ad to fight poaching

We are fortunate that conservation efforts were taken when they were to protect the Indian Rhino population. Indian Rhinos have transitioned from endangered to vulnerable, and hopefully will never be endangered again.

Bibliography

“Greater One-Horned Rhino.” WWF.com. World Wildlife Fund. Web. 3 January 2017. <http://www.worldwildlife.org/species/greater-one-horned-rhino>

“Indian Rhino - Rhinoceros unicornis” rhinoresourcecenter.com. Rhino Resource Center. Web. 3 January 2017. <http://www.rhinoresourcecenter.com/species/indian-rhino/>

Talukdar, B.K., Emslie, R., Bist, S.S., Choudhury, A., Ellis, S., Bonal, B.S., Malakar, M.C., Talukdar, B.N. & Barua, M. 2008. Rhinoceros unicornis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T19496A8928657. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2008.RLTS.T19496A8928657.en.

“Rhinoceros’ & Elephants’ Seed-Eating Habit Helps Biodiversity.” livescience.com. Live Science, 11 May 2012. Web. 3 January 2017. <http://www.livescience.com/20265-rhinos-elephant-biodiversity.html>

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Created with images by Diganta Talukdar - "One Horned Rhino Assam - India" • skeeze - "rhinoceros zoo wildlife"

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