How to count Rhinos

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How do you survey the rhino population of Nepal’s National Parks? A land of tall grasses, rivers, swamps and thick forest. You will need – government backing, an army, at least two leading conservation organisations, over 40 trained volunteers, and a good number of elephants and their mahouts. Stretch the elephants out in a long line, with not too much space between each one, place a trained observer on each, and walk multiple transects across the parks over a single month, sweeping up and counting any rhinos you come across. In April 2015, this is exactly what happened in Nepal, with the help of the Dept. of National Parks & Wildlife Conservation, Dept. of Forests, the Nepal Army, the National Trust for Nature Conservation and WWF-Nepal. A total of 645 rhinos were counted, a 21% increase since 2011, and the largest number of greater one-horned rhinos in Nepal since the 1950s.