Returns of the Unicorn: Socio-Environmental Synthesis of the Greater One-Horned Rhinoceros Conservation in Nepal


One of the grand challenges that humanity has been facing now is the unprecedented loss of biodiversity that is essential for our survival. Recently, Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) warned the risk of 1 million species extinction’ from the planet because of habitat loss, fragmentation, poaching, and human-wildlife conflicts, to name a few reasons. Amid this grim situation, small countries like Nepal have managed to bring back a one-horned rhinoceros from the brink of extinction. In this case study, students will: 

  1. Receive introduction to the status of the one-horned rhinoceroses’ population in Nepal, drivers of population decline, and key policy and practical interventions to address those challenges
  2. Identify and describe socio-environmental components and explain their complex interaction and feedback
  3. Apply an SES framework to analyze the challenges of rhino conservation and identify responses to address those challenges in Nepal. 

This case study is designed for an upper-level undergraduate and graduate course with emphasis in conservation biology and policy.

Anil Shrestha