Worst floods in 30 years hit Assam

The worst floods in thirty years have hit key rhino bearing areas in Assam. In July, 70% of Kaziranga National Park and Pabitora Wildlife Sanctuary were submerged when the Bramaputra River flooded while renewed flooding in August has led to continued disruption.

Much of the area’s wildlife has migrated to higher ground either within the parks or away from the safety of the protected areas and NGOs are continuing to protect the wildlife by enforcing speed restrictions on the roads that they are crossing to exit the parks.  Sadly, the animal migration has also led to an increase in human-animal conflict with two people gored to death by wild boar and others left injured.

Dr Bibhab Talukdar of the DSWF funded Aaranyak Society visited Pabitora this weekend. “Despite 80% of the park currently being under water rhino mothers and calves are managing to stay together sustained by the grasses and aquatic plants beneath the flood waters,” he says.

About 154 of the 178 anti-poaching camps are still submerged in the region’s main national park, Kaziranga, and in the last four days 28 animals – including an elephant and 26 hog deer are known to have drowned in the floods. During July’s flooding in Kaziranga, at least 107 animals, including seven rhinos, died.

It is this annual flooding, triggered by the monsoon, that helps maintain the rich alluvial flood plains that characterise the rich biodiversity of the area.

To read more about DSWF’s work to protect rhino’s in Assam click here

A one horned rhino grazes in the flood waters of Pabitora  – image courtesy of Dr Bibhab Talukdar – Aaranyak