Indian Rhino Threats
one-horned rhinos have few natural predators and humans are their
greatest threat. Historically, they were hunted to near extinction
for sport and for their horns. Their horns are used in traditional
Asian medicine, seen as a cure-all for ailments ranging from
arthritis, cancer, and fever to demon possession. Some believe that
the horns of greater one-horned rhinos are more potent than those of
the African species, who each have two horns.
populations rise, more land is needed for living and farming
areas. Fertile soil is most desired for agricultural purposes and
riverine grasslands, the greater one’ horned rhinos’ preferred
habitat, are often extremely fertile. This creates conflict and,
until protected wildlife areas were established, led to the
decimation of greater one-horned rhino habitat.
parks and reserves, like Chitwan National Park in Nepal and Orang
National Park in India, signs indicate that habitat quality has
decreased over time. Invasion of alien plants and heavy grazing by
domestic livestock may also have had a negative impact on the
grasslands. As habitat quality and protected wildlife areas decrease
and human populations increase, greater pressure will be placed on
populations of greater one-horned rhinos, causing higher population
densities and an increase in competition for food and mates.