|An Indian rhinoceros in Kaziranga National Park|
The government of Assam has recently sent a proposal to the federal government for obtaining a special rhino protection force with more than 1200 people and seek help from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to break the international rhino-poaching scheme. The action was taken in response to rhino poachers causing mayhem in Kaziranga National Park which has seen deaths of five rhinos so far this year while forty animals were killed last year. During a review meeting on anti-poaching measurements and other related concerns held at Kaziranga's Kohora Range, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi indicated that the government has sent a proposal to Union Minister of Environment, Forests and Climate Change Prakash Javadekar and expected the new force would be augmented very soon. He further added that such a force would expedite use of modern technology for suppressing the threat of poaching. This includes deploying sophisticated equipment such as GPS, night vision tools, surveillance cameras, thermal scanners, etc. Minister Gogoi also requested Kazaringa's park authorities to take help from the NIA to tackle rhino poachers and break hidden rhino-horn trade roads across national and international borders. He even announced that he would shortly establish a development authority for the Kaziranga landscape under his chairmanship to discuss conservation and development issues. He stated that locals should be given environment-friendly opportunities and employment options balanced with wildlife conservation. He further added that a modern interpretation center and wildlife museum with 3D shows, tea museum, and tea tourism will be initiated in Kaziranga National Park and asked authorities to explore prospects of promoting off-season tourism through ecotourism and traditional activities.
|Grassland in Kaziranga National Park|
It is highly essential to have a special force with military background in protecting India's rhinos. These animals are continuously being targeted by poachers in Kaziranga National Park and a handful of other national parks in northeast India to satisfy the growing demand of rhino horns in China, Vietnam, and other countries infamous for selling body parts of endangered species to consumers. The action taken by Chief Minister Gogoi should also be implemented in other countries that contain rhinos. Indonesia is home to Sumatran and Javan rhinos which are labeled as "critically endangered" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and are severely threatened by poaching, habitat loss, and other human activities. This is why it is extremely crucial to have a special force committed to the conservation and protection of these majestic animals and that local people living alongside them should be provided with environment-friendly opportunities and livelihood options to minimize human encroachment into their habitats. Furthermore, Indonesia should also promote ecotourism in order to help make minimum impact on its wildlife. Similarly, African countries housing black and white rhinos should take this step in order to save their individual rhino populations from such threats.
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