Trends and current state of research on greater one-horned rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis): a systematic review of the literature over a period of 33 years (1985–2018)

Pant, Ganesh and Maraseni, Tek and Apan, Armando and Allen, Benjamin L. (2020) Trends and current state of research on greater one-horned rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis): a systematic review of the literature over a period of 33 years (1985–2018). Science of the Total Environment, 710 (Article 136349). ISSN 0048-9697


Abstract

Greater one-horned rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) is one of the most iconic wildlife species in the world. Once reduced to fewer than 500 during the 1960s, its global population has been recovering and is now over 3500, thanks to effective conservation programs in India and Nepal, the only two countries in the world where this species is found. It is one of the greatest success stories in biodiversity conservation given that hundreds of other species have disappeared, and thousands of species are on the verge of extinction. However, poaching is not the only threat for the long-term survival of rhinoceros. Loss and degradation of grassland habitat and the drying-up of wetlands are emerging threats predicted to worsen in the future, but the published information on rhinoceros has never been synthesized. In order to better understand the trends and current status of rhinoceros research and identify research gaps inhibiting its long-term conservation, we analyzed the themes discussed in 215 articles covering a period of 33 years between 1985 and 2018. Our findings suggest that studies on both free-ranging and captive rhinoceros are skewed towards biological aspects of the species including morphology, anatomy, physiology, and behaviour. There are no studies addressing the likely effects of climate change on the species, and limited information is available on rhinoceros genetics, diseases, habitat dynamics and the impacts of tourism and other infrastructure development in and around rhinoceros habitat. These issues will need addressing to maintain the conservation success of greater one-horned rhinoceros into the future.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment (1 Aug 2018 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment (1 Aug 2018 -)
Date Deposited: 18 Feb 2020 05:41
Last Modified: 08 May 2020 02:41
Uncontrolled Keywords: habitat dynamics, population monitoring, climate change, vulnerability assessment, megaherbivore, invasive plant species
Fields of Research : 05 Environmental Sciences > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050211 Wildlife and Habitat Management
Socio-Economic Objective: D Environment > 96 Environment > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960805 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity at Regional or Larger Scales
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.136349
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/38044

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