Kathmandu: Encouraged by the increase in one-horned rhino population in the country, Nepal has decided to step up collaborative efforts to protect the endangered species against poachers.
Welcoming the declaration of 2012 as the International Year for Rhino, Director General of Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, Krishna Prasad Acharya said "Even though Nepal has achieved zero poaching of rhinos in 2011, the threat remains high with poaching and increased demand for illegal rhino horn trade."
"Nepal will put heightened collaborative efforts for the rhino protection and their habitat conservation," he said Acharya.
According to a latest survey, Nepal is the home for 534 rhinos, 99 more than when the last such census was carried out in 2008.
The year 2011 was a landmark year for conservation in Nepal as not a single rhino was killed in the country across the year, said Anil Manandhar, WWF Nepal Representative.
"WWF Nepal warmly welcomes the announcement of the International Year of the Rhino by the president of Indonesia," he said.
The initiative taken by the Indonesian government will definitely help motivate Nepal and all concerned countries to take necessary actions towards rhino conservation, Manandhar said.