DNA database coming up for Indian rhino

Prelims level : Indian rhino status in IUCN RedList. Mains level : What is Indian Rhino Vision 2020 (IRV 2020)? Write about threats for Indian species. | Why there is a need for translocation of Indian rhino species to new rhino habitat? Evaluate. | Write about Indian Rhino and its role on ecosystem and biodiversity.
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  • The Union Environment Ministry has embarked on a project to create DNA profiles of all rhinos in the country.
  • By 2021, the project’s deadline, the Indian rhino could be the first wild animal species in India to have all its members DNA-sequenced.


  • The project’s proponents, including the World Wide Fund for Nature-India (WWF-India) and the Centre-funded Wildlife Institute of India (WII).
  • There are about 2,600 rhinos in India, with more than 90% of the population concentrated in Assam’s Kaziranga National Park.
  • Outside Kaziranga, there are about 200 rhinos in West Bengal, 40 in Uttar Pradesh and 1 in Bihar.
  • There are three species of rhinos, of which only one, the Indian rhino is found in the country.
  • The rhinos were once abundant and well-distributed in the country. However poaching reduced its numbers to about 200 wild animals by the end of the 20th century.
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