GUWAHATI, June 16 – As part of the ambitious India Rhino Vision(IRV)-2020 that seeks to increase Assam’s rhino population to 3,000 by the year 2020, decks are being cleared for translocation of the first batch of rhinos to the contiguous wildlife sanctuaries of Laokhowa-Burhachapori.A total of 18 rhinos have already been relocated to Manas National Park from Kaziranga and Pobitora under IRV. The Laokhowa-Burhachapori complex is the next destination for the next phase of translocation.
The Assam Forest Department, WWF-India and International Rhino Foundation are jointly implementing the translocation project.
“Security assessment of the Lakhowa-Burhachapori complex has been done and the report is awaited. Ground-level preparations are on to ensure that the translocated rhinos feel at home in their new habitat,” sources in the Forest Department told The Assam Tribune.
Anupam Sarmah, Head, Assam Landscapes, WWF-India, said that by end of 2014, a total of ten rhinos from Kaziranga were to be translocated to Laokhowa-Burhachapori in batches.
“We had a meeting with the Forest Minister today in this regard, and he has assured administrative and logistics support for the venture. We expect the first batch to be translocated by this year or early next year,” he said.
The meeting also discussed the problems concerning release of funds for man-animal conflict mitigation. “Streamlining fund flow is an urgent need, as the present procedure is cumbersome, hindering work on the ground. We suggested quarterly release of funds for effective implementation of various mitigation measures, and the minister assured us of streamlining the procedure,” Sarmah said.