Endangered Rhino

Kumar Paudel

Rhino, an endangered wildlife species is on the verge of extinction because of illegal trade of rhino horn. This has caused the world’s Rhino population to decline by more than 90 percent over the past 40 years. The main factor leading the poaching of the rhino is its huge international demand and market assuming that rhino horn could be a medicine.

There is massive growth in the international trade of rhino horn for the past one decade. Nepal has become the tranzit point for the trade because of being Tibet and China as a neighbouring country which is known as the world’s most reknowned market of rhino horns and other wildlife products Five.The major trade route for rhino rhhorns is from Assam to Kathmandu in Nepal, via Silguri and then to Tibet. The ultimate destination for these horns is believed to be in China. The emerging another market is the gulf countries.

More than five dozen rhinos died at Chitwan National Park (CNP), Nepal during last three years. Most of the rhinos have been killed by poachers. Interestingly, the smugglers have even not spared the museum to get the rhino horn and steal antique rhino horns. Last month, two people entered the museum of Central Marins district of Paris on the daytime, used a paralyzing gas against museum guards, and ran away with rhino horns. There have been several thefts of rhino horn from museum in Europe.

In 2011, South Africa lost their 335 rhinos due to the poaching. The poachers killed them for their horns. The case is similar for Greater Asian one horned rhino too. If we analyze the data of rhino in South Asia in the recent 50 years, it clearly shows that the rate of poaching is increasing massively.

The increasing prosperity in the East Asia is also one of the prime factors of illegal rhino horn trade. Now, people have become financially capable to pay higher prices worth more than $ 60,000.00 per kilogram thinking that Rhinos horns are traditional medicine. According to the traditional Chinese, rhino horn cures snakebites, typhoid, headaches, and food poisoning. Modern practice uses it in shaving or powder from combined with other ingredients to treat fever and rheumatism.

It seems that China is largely responsible for the illicit ivory trade. More than 85 percent smugglers arrested in Africa are Chinese. In last July, 33 rhino horns seized in Hong Kong destined for Guangzhou. China also seems to be working to control poaching and trade. Since 1993, it has banned to buy sell trade or transport any products made from rhino horn.

Nepal, China, India, and others 172 countries have signed on the Convention on International Trade in Endangered species (CITES). China has very strict law enforcement related to poaching. In China, killing a panda can result in 20 years in jail. Until 1997, there was a system of death penalty. In the Africa and in South Asia, there is very poor law enforcement and governance system related to wildlife protection.

It is also assumed that high luxurious and rich Sultan of gulf countries use rhino horn to increase the sex power. Scientific studies have proved that the use of rhino horn has no linkage at all with medicinal benefit. Studies also reveal that rhino horn is composed of Karatin, the same material as fingernail. It is the same as chewing the nails so rhino horn as a medicine is nothing more than a myth, still millions of people persist in believing that rhino horn is a remedy.

Rhino is an important part of our ecosystem and bio-heritage. It is extremely vital that the international community especially those countries where the demand for rhino horn is huge should enforce strict laws and treaties to protect the species. The Rhino is equally important for local and national economy. NRs. 83.1 million was collected by Chitwan National Park alone on fiscal year 2067/68 primarily due to wildlife tourism. This will be possible unless and until we have one horned rhino and other endangered species. Therefore, the importance of such endangered wildlife species should not be ignored.

This was also published on Greenkhabar.com (Nepal's first environmental online media)

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