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The Environment Ministry has embarked on a project to create DNA profiles of all rhinos in the country.

By 2021, the Indian rhino could be the first wild animal species in India to have all its members DNA-sequenced. The project’s proponents, including the World Wildlife Fund for Nature-India (WWF-India) and the Centre-funded Wildlife Institute of India (WII), said the exercise would be useful in curbing poaching and gathering evidence in wildlife crimes involving rhinos.

There are about 2,600 rhinos in India, with over 90% of the population concentrated in Assam’s Kaziranga National Park. Around 60 samples of tissue have been collected so far from some rhinos living outside Kaziranga.

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