Indian Rhino Vision 2020 (IRV 2020) is a conservation initiative launched in 2005 by the Government of Assam in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and other conservation organizations. The aim of the project is to increase the population of the greater one-horned rhinoceros (also known as the Indian rhinoceros) in the Indian state of Assam to 3,000 by 2020.
The greater one-horned rhinoceros is a large herbivorous mammal that is found in parts of India and Nepal. In the early 20th century, the Indian rhinoceros was almost hunted to extinction for its horn, which is highly valued in traditional Chinese medicine. Conservation efforts have helped to increase the population of the Indian rhinoceros, but habitat loss and poaching continue to be major threats to its survival.
IRV 2020 aims to address these threats through a range of activities, including:
- Habitat restoration: The project works to restore degraded habitat by planting native grasses and trees that provide food and shelter for the rhinoceros. It also supports the creation and management of protected areas that are crucial for the survival of the species.
- Population management: The project involves capturing and translocating rhinoceroses from areas with high populations to areas with low populations to increase genetic diversity and reduce the risk of inbreeding. It also involves monitoring the population and health of the rhinoceroses.
- Community-based conservation: The project works with local communities to raise awareness about the importance of the Indian rhinoceros and its habitat. It also supports sustainable livelihoods that do not rely on habitat destruction or poaching.
- Anti-poaching measures: The project works with law enforcement agencies to crack down on poaching and illegal wildlife trade. It also supports efforts to reduce human-wildlife conflict and prevent retaliatory killing of the rhinoceros by local communities.
IRV 2020 has been successful in increasing the population of the Indian rhinoceros in Assam. The population has increased from 1,800 in 2008 to over 2,600 in 2020. However, the Indian rhinoceros is still classified as a vulnerable species, and more needs to be done to ensure its long-term survival.