Floods in Assam: 131 wild creatures die in Kaziranga National Park, six of them rhinos.

131 wild creatures die in Kaziranga National Park.

08-jul-2024, 11:18 am

Assam’s annual floods have struck a devastating blow to Kaziranga National Park, claiming the lives of over 131 wild animals, including six precious one-horned rhinos. This incident underscores the vulnerability of wildlife during these natural disasters.

Kaziranga National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to two-thirds of the world’s one-horned rhinos. Losing even a handful is a significant setback to conservation efforts. The cause of death for most animals is attributed to drowning as the park’s floodplains become submerged, leaving them with limited escape routes.

Other species haven’t been spared either. Hog deer, swamp deer, and wild boars are among the most affected, with reports suggesting numbers reaching over 100. These herbivores often get caught in the rising waters or separated from their herds.

While the floods are a natural phenomenon, their impact on wildlife can be mitigated. Park authorities work tirelessly during these periods. They attempt to relocate animals to higher grounds within the park or create artificial highlands for them to take refuge. Additionally, injured animals receive medical care at the Centre for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation.

 

Despite these efforts, the sheer scale of the floods makes complete protection a challenge. This incident serves as a stark reminder of the delicate balance between human activity and wildlife conservation, particularly in the face of climate change, which may be leading to more extreme weather events.

 

Moving forward, exploring ways to improve flood forecasting and strengthening early warning systems could be crucial. Additionally, investigating the creation of elevated corridors for animal movement during floods could be a long-term solution. The loss of over 131 wild animals in Kaziranga National Park is a tragedy, but it’s a wake-up call for implementing better strategies to safeguard this vital ecosystem.

There is some positive news regarding the Assam floods. Here’s what I found:

 

  • The flood situation is improving with water levels receding across the Brahmaputra River.
  • While 23 lakh people are still affected in 29 districts, the number has come down from earlier reports.
  • Darrang district remains the worst hit, with nearly 1.6 lakh people impacted and some villages still underwater. The Assam government is focusing on relief efforts and plans to build new embankments to better manage future floods.

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