Chat Archives
Chat on "Saving the one horned rhino" dated May 20, 2012
  • John H. Eickert: Hello, Sandeep
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: HI JOHN! HELLO HEMANTA!
  • John H. Eickert: Hello, Hemanta
  • Hemanta R Mishra: Hello Good Morning (Or Good Evening to you in India). This is Hemanta in Washington DC, USA. Hi there
  • John H. Eickert: It is a cloudy but warm morning here in Montana, USA
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: Wow all the way from USA!
  • Hemanta R Mishra: How do you want to start with.
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: Here in Calcutta we have just a very heavy rainfall!
  • John H. Eickert: It is good to hear the monsoon is on time
  • Hemanta R Mishra: It is nice, sunny and cool here Sunday Morning
  • John H. Eickert: How do we save the one-horned rhino?
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: I have been working on the Great One-Horned Indian Rhinoceros for the last 18 years!
  • John H. Eickert: How can I help?
  • Hemanta R Mishra: Great. Where do you work. How come I have not met you.
  • Hemanta R Mishra: John, what do you do.
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: I work as a Wildlife Photojournalist based in Calcutta yet most of my work is in Kaziranga Assam!
  • John H. Eickert: I own an adventure travel company
  • John H. Eickert: I love Kaziranga
  • Hemanta R Mishra: Great Sandeep. Lucky You, I believe Kaziranga is the Crown Jewel of India. John does your travel company specilizes in wildllife
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: One of my articles on Indian Rhinos published in "The Eclectic" a global news magazine in May 2007 raked up a huge controversy!
  • Hemanta R Mishra: What kind of controversy
  • John H. Eickert: The first one-horned that I saw was in Chitwan in 1982. No, my company rafts, treks and climbs but I have a degree in wildlife and it has long been my passion.
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: Hi Susan, long time!
  • John H. Eickert: Hi Susan
  • Hemanta R Mishra: Hello Susan.
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: The controversy had something to do with translocation!
  • Susan Sharma: Hello everybody!
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: As you know Kaziranga is a total area of more than 860 sq.kms. and at the time of the article writing had 1855 Rhinos!
  • Hemanta R Mishra: Tell me more please. I did translocation in Nepal from Chitwan to Bardia in the late 1980s and early 1990s
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: It is almost like putting all your eggs in one basket!
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: I had suggested shifting at least half of that population to other parks in the country!
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: I was asked why??
  • Hemanta R Mishra: Yes ideed, that was the principle why in Nepal, we decided that the rhino needs more than one home.
  • Hemanta R Mishra: You mean half of Kazirang population?
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: The reason I gave I am giving you here!
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: Yes half of Kaziranga population!
  • Hemanta R Mishra: While I can not say about the right number, but I do agree with you that keeping all eggs in one basket is risky.
  • John H. Eickert: One of the problems in the modern world of shrinking habitat is gene pooling. Relocation is necessary.
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: In mid 2005, I had the opportunity of chatting with Mike Nichols and Cathy Newman of National Geographic Society!
  • Hemanta R Mishra: Johnm Susan What are your thoughts on this
  • John H. Eickert: Which NGS?
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: The subject in question was the translocation of the Indian Lions from Gir Forest!
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: The discussion had thrown up the vital core issues of canine distemper and grass roots vegetation viral diseases!
  • Hemanta R Mishra: All of you: What do you thinks will be the fate of Indian Rhinos in the 21st Century?
  • Susan Sharma: Hemanta, what made you choose the rhino as the "Soul of Nepal"?
  • John H. Eickert: My thoughts? To allow any major species to become extinct is unacceptable. Unfortuneatley I think they are doomed.
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: All plant species like all human beings are susceptible to viral diseases! When herbivores consume them, they become infected...
  • Susan Sharma: I think the younger generation will make sure there are no major extinctions
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: consequently the carnivores who consume the herbivores become infected with canine distemper1
  • Susan Sharma: But whether they will survive in the wild, is another question
  • John H. Eickert: But will the younger generations mature in time to understand what they have?
  • Hemanta R Mishra: Nepal has two icons, Mt. Everest and the Rhino. Historically, the rhino was also symbolized on the 100 Ruppee Note - the highest denomination of of the first and a long last bank note. Further it is a long and personal story which I have described in my Book the Soul of the Rhinio.
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: that is another issue concerning all forms of wildlife!
  • John H. Eickert: I will read your book.
  • Hemanta R Mishra: Thanks. It is based in Chitwan, where you have been
  • Susan Sharma: I believe there are lots of young men and women out there who are siezed of the problems
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: conservation and protection of all forms of wildlife is a major concern for all of us who like me hunt rhino poachers!!
  • Susan Sharma: and the future of planet earth is safe in their hands.
  • Susan Sharma: 9I happen to be an optimost at all times
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: Unfortunately, I have yet to read your book Hemanta!
  • Hemanta R Mishra: Indeed, the younger generation of today is much aware, concerned, and active on conservation issues,which makes all of us very optmistic.
  • Hemanta R Mishra: Sandeep: What is the status of rhino is Manas
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: let me tell you something outside of Kaziranga, Assam, all the national parks viz. Manas, Pobitora and Jaldapara have much less no. of rhinos....
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: than their carrying capacity!!
  • John H. Eickert: Hemanta, is there a place where the rhino is doing well?
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: for example, Manas has a carrying capacity of 300 and yet only about 20 odd Rhinos have been translocated this year!
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: from Kaziranga!
  • Hemanta R Mishra: John, I think Rhinos are doing well in Kaziranga and Chitwan, but I also seek the views of Susan, Jahn and Sandedp
  • Susan Sharma: But Sandeep, when you say carrying capacity, it must include other major animals too right?
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: Jaldapara has a carrying capacity of 450+ yet has only about 120 Rhinos!
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: unless there is a proper distribution through translocation from Kaziranga, the time when there is a virus attack on the plant species there, all hell break loose!
  • Hemanta R Mishra: Sandeep: What does it take to move more rhinos to Manas and Jaldapara. Would it be politically palatable to move 100s of rhinos from Kaziranga to other places
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: Politics are not the major issue here anymore as of February 2012, as the people of Assam are genuinely concerned about it now than back in 2007.
  • John H. Eickert: Sandeep, I appreciate your concern for viral infection but keep in mind that such infections are always present in any given eco system. A healthy, genetically diverse rhino population is less likely to sustain infection.
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: what is lacking are massive funds for such a project!
  • John H. Eickert: Would artificial insemination be easier and more cost effective?
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: I as a life member of Kaziranga Wildlife Society have been actively drumming up financial support sources, but I am only one man!
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: there are others as well, but we feel that more concerted efforts are necessary!
  • Hemanta R Mishra: Combining rhinos moved from Chittwan with the numbers born in Bardia, the total number had reached over 120 in 2000. However, during the insurgency most of them were wipped out. I was in Bardia in March and was shocked to find less that two dozen animals, most of them lost to poaching. How is the insurgency situation in NE India
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: as for artificial insemination, Hemanta can answer that well!
  • Susan Sharma: May be there should be a 'project rhino" like project tiger and project elephant?
  • John H. Eickert: Yes, yes, the rhino in Bardia has been hard hit. Before moving a poplulation the area that would be their new home must be safe.
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: Insurgency in NE India is a major problem for sure but not to the extent that poaching is!
  • Hemanta R Mishra: I do not know if and where articial insemination has been tried and has been sucessful. This incudes zoos.
  • John H. Eickert: Susan, Project Rhino is a great idea, count me in.
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: In India with the amount of attention afforded to the Indian Tiger, other wildlife like Rhinos, Elephants and Lions are very easily forgotten, Susan!
  • Hemanta R Mishra: Susan: Indeed Project Rhino is an excellent idea, particulalry as now we have many lessons learned from Project Tiger. But then How do you generate the Political Will and backing of decision makers. as PM Indira Gandhi Provided for Project (Or Operation Tiger as we call in Nepa)
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: Read the latest conservation steps on Indian wildlife parks and you will find there is no mention of either elephants or lions, it is sickening!
  • Hemanta R Mishra: Wow!
  • John H. Eickert: Perhaps what is needed is a Project Parks
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: the steps which I refer to are in fact under the heading of Parks Management!
  • Susan Sharma: It is not a question of tiger vs rhino; But each has a specific role in the biodiversity of our region
  • John H. Eickert: Healthy, whole eco systems
  • Hemanta R Mishra: What ever the name is - it is difficult to move things as big as Projet Rhino or Project Elephant or Project Park without generatiing a political will. The question is how. Any thoughts on ths.
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: What I feel is more profitable is to use forums like the present one and connect to people like Hemanta and John and Susan and create a network....
  • Susan Sharma: Project National parks does sound very appropriATE, JOHN!
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: to help and disseminate information and then create a concerted effort to initiate political will!
  • John H. Eickert: Political will revolves around what is in front at the moment. The rhino needs a face. Perhaps the face of each rhino could be compiled on a site much like that done with blue whales.
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: like I am joined in with the likes of Valmik Thapar, Prerna Bindra Shyamal Tikadar and Mike Pandey and Raymond Barlow!
  • John H. Eickert: You tube can be a great vehicle, Sandeep do you have experience with video?
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: May I suggest creating a RHINOS CLUB for like minded professionals who are conservation minded!
  • Susan Sharma: Also create awareness all around. I have not read your book, but I believe that books like yours take the conservation of animals out of the specialist realm and put it out for all to particiapte and contribute.
  • John H. Eickert: Yes, the fate of the rhino rests with the entire population not just professionals.
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: what do you people think? No, John I work exclusively in the print media!
  • Susan Sharma: Sandeep please create one and let us all link up.
  • John H. Eickert: The rhino needs a face, a posture in the wild, and that is a key first step. People need to see what is at stake.
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: Susan John Hemanta send me your email addresses for Rhinos Club to my email address:- rhinos9848@gmail.com
  • Susan Sharma: John if you know some good youtube videos on the rhino, please send me a mail. We will include them in Wildbytes listing.
  • Susan Sharma: My email id is susan_sharma@hotmail.com
  • John H. Eickert: Susan, I'll see what I can find.
  • John H. Eickert: Yes, the hotmail account not the gmail.
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: Susan, I have over 2700+ digital images created by me of the Great One-Horned Indian Rhinoceros!! Is there a place for that anywhere??
  • John H. Eickert: There needs to be a Project Rhino website. That would be the place. Wow, 2700 images.
  • Hemanta R Mishra: You tube is an excellent idea. Some of you may be aware of the recent uproar and actions created by the You Tube on varius on Susdan and Uganda
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: Hemanta, I would definitely like to keep in touch with you over email and specifically over the mobile phone!
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: yes Hemanta I am an online member of the International Rhino Foundation and I have studied all their stories!
  • John H. Eickert: Hemanta, do you ever come to the western US?
  • Susan Sharma: Yes, Sandeep select thirty and send them to me We have started an online photogallery on selected themes. See http://www.indianwildlifeclub.com/Ezine/View/Details.aspx?aid=793
  • Hemanta R Mishra: My E-mail is hemantamishra@gmail.com. Sandeep: Could you send me a photo of a fossil of the Indian Rhino. How acurate is the theory that it evlove from the Giant Giraffe Rhino.
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: Will do Susan!
  • Hemanta R Mishra: Johm: yes, I some time go to the West Coast of US.But mostly I travel to India and Nepal.
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: I know someone who has a couple of such photos living in Assam hinterland! Hemanta it will take some time!
  • Susan Sharma: It is the pre historic look that makes the rhino so interesting!
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: the pictures are all film camera created!
  • Susan Sharma: Hemanta, are you planning a book release in India?
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: I mean the fossil pictures!
  • Hemanta R Mishra: Apparently the ancestor of the Indian rhino was 18 feet tall and 20 feet long.
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: Attaboy Susan, you asked my question!! what about the Soul Of The Rhino??
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: I am not sure about all those statistics, Hemanta!!
  • Hemanta R Mishra: Susan: I think Penguin India released the book on the 15th of May. However, there has been no book launching or book presenting events in India. In Nepal, there is an event planned for July 2. If any of you are in Kathmandu, you will be invited.
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: then we will have to access Penguin India, I guess!
  • Hemanta R Mishra: While I realize that you would need time to read the Soul of the Rhino, if you have any questions now, please ask.
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: I will send you an email, Hemanta! that way I can ask open ended questions and get expansive replies! and John, I am waiting for your email address!
  • Hemanta R Mishra: Sandeep: If you have any difficulty getting information on the book, please let me know.
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: Sure thing brother!
  • Susan Sharma: Wehave five more minutes, Ashutosh any questions to Hemanta?
  • John H. Eickert: So sorry, adventure@numbum.net
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: and Susan, as always it has been an unending pleasure chatting with you!
  • Susan Sharma: Sure, sandeep same here
  • Hemanta R Mishra: OOps. I just realized that I made a mistae on my Email. There is a "r" between Hemanta and Mishra. Thus my correct E-mail reads hemantarmishra@gmail,com
  • Hemanta R Mishra: Hello Ashutos. Where are you located and what do you do>
  • Sandeep Ghosh.: C U FRIENDS! I SINCERELY HOPE TO BE ABLE TO CREATE A RHINOS CLUB SOON! TILL THEN GOOD BYE AND TAKE CARE! GOD BLESS U ALL, RHINOS LOVERS!
  • John H. Eickert: Until next time
  • Susan Sharma: Hemanta, thanks a lot for taking out time to chat with us all
  • Susan Sharma: As soon as I close the room, the transcript will be uploaded
  • Hemanta R Mishra: Susan: Before, we run out of time, and signing off. I am very impressed with the Indian Wildlife Club and its website. It has a ton of useful and practical information. In addition to this chat channel which brings all of us close. You have set an example. Hemanta
  • Hemanta R Mishra: I am signing off now, unless any of you have any questions.
  • Susan Sharma: Thank you Hemanta. But I do wish that we have more members and more traffic.
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