GOLAGHAT, Jan 12 � Every country in the world has been trying to create awareness among nature lovers to protect and conserve forest wealth - flora and fauna. But it is a matter of grave concern that the rhinos of Kaziranga National Park (KNP) have been in great trouble as poaching in KNP is increasing extensively.
The KNP authority has failed to protect the rhinos from the grip of poachers, as poachers have been using modern weapons to kill this rare species. As a result, the rhinos are being killed frequently in the KNP.
Kaziranga is covered with 430 sq.km of land, which was declared as research forest in 1908. In 1974, Kaziranga was given the status of a National Park. It was opened for the first time to tourists in 1937. According to a census of 1991, the number of rhinos were 1,164 and 1,552 in 1999 and in 2006 the number of rhinos were 1,856.
The statistics shows that the number of rhinos have been increasing, but the fact is that now in 2007 and 2008 a total of 45 rhinos were killed by poachers.
In 2006, poachers killed seven rhinos. In 2007, the poaching of rhinos increased.
In the entire world, the number of one horned rhino are 2,700. Among them, 1866 rhinos belong to KNP.
In 2000, 160 forest employees were discharged from their jobs. From that time onward the forest employees have also been decreasing.
Due to non-appointment of the forest guards, foresters fail to work smoothly, the forest officials allege.
The Forest Department of Golaghat should keep a vigilant eye on the poachers, who have been using modern weapons to kill rhinos and they have links with international poachers and have made a network.
The conscious people of Golaghat, several nature clubs, organisations such as Bonojutshna, SEENE and Numbor Surakshya Samiti have been adopting various activities against poaching and timber smuggling.
But the Kaziranga National Park authorities and forest department of Golaghat should work in good coordination against the killing of rhinos and other illegal activities of poachers and other destructive forces, feel the people here.
From 1997 till today, in the KNP a total of 705 rhinos have been killed and among them, the poachers killed 67 rhinos and 638 died a natural death. During 1997-1998, according to a survey undertaken by two nature lovers, it was found that all total 37,40 sq.km of land were eroded by the mighty Brahmaputra. During this period, 8,93 sq.km of land were added from Agartoli range of the KNP and the rhinos moved to the char areas of the Brahmaputra making themselves easy targets for the poachers. The poachers these days are equipped with modern weapons brought from Nagaland, Manipur etc.
It may be mentioned that the extremists of Nagaland, Manipur and Karbi Anglong are involved in poaching of rhinos, elephants and even tigers of KNP and they have made a network of international smuggling, involving Myanmar, Thailand and China etc.
The nature lovers of Golaghat district, various NGOs and nature clubs also should create more awareness among the people about conservation of rhinos.