India is creating a DNA database to hold genetic information of its rhino population in a bid to curb poaching of the endangered species whose horns are in great demand in the illegal wildlife trade.
The wildlife division of the environment ministry has directed the states where the mammal is found to start collecting samples.
India’s around 3000 rhinos face significant poaching threats, especially in Assam where 90% of the population is concentrated.
The exercise that kick-started this winter will take 6-7 months to complete, according to SP Vashisht, inspector general (wildlife) at the environment ministry.
The database will help the authorities to trace back the traded rhino parts to the area where the animal was poached.
“The database will ultimately help us establish where a rhino part originated from. It will be an important step in curbing poaching,” Vashisht said.
Rhino habitat in India spreads across Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Assam.
Assam …