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Javan Rhino: Is It Endangered?

The Javan rhino is a grey-colored beast with a long horn. Its bumpy, armored appearance makes it resemble a helmet. It has a smaller head and no bumps on its skin, however it resembles the greater one-horned rhino significantly.

The Javan Rhino is native to Indonesia’s Javan region, but it has been observed in Myanmar, Malaysia, and Thailand. The Javan rhino is a critically endangered species, as its range has been reduced by habitat loss and poaching for their horns and medicinal purposes. They are presently at high risk of extinction, with less than 50 Javan rhinos remaining in the wild.

  • Status: Critically Endangered 
  • Known as: Javan Rhino, Lesser One-horned Rhinoceros, Sunda Rhinoceros.
  • Estimated numbers left in the wild: 60 or less.


Side view of Javan Rhino

Armoured with a thick, deeply folded hide, the Javan rhino has a prehistoric look that seems to evoke the earlier periods of Mammals’ age. This species of rhinoceros weighs 900 to 2,300 kilograms, stands 1.5 to 1.7 meters tall, and measures between 2 and 4 meters long.

The animal’s single horn is too short to be used as a weapon, at only 20 centimeters or less. Instead, it appears to be used as a specialized tool for hooking high-growing plants to bring them down to a level where the rhino can eat them or push through dense vegetation.

When the rhino is forced to fight, it slashes with its lower incisors rather than attempting to use its horn. Food harvesting is accomplished with a prehensile upper lip.

During the heat of the day, the Javan rhino lies in mud wallows to stay cool or bathes in water. When the cooler evening comes, these rhinoceroses begin to forage, eating leaves, shoots, twigs, and any fruit they can find. They need regular access to salt licks and will drink ocean water to get salt if necessary.

They are very shy and retiring, and any human activity is enough to make them flee into the most inaccessible area available. The Javan rhino lives most frequently in tall, thick grass or beds of reeds within lowland jungle and rainforest.

Javan rhinos tend to be solitary, though they do not seem hostile to others of their species and may sometimes casually associate in small groups at salt licks or favorite wallows. Male rhinos mark their territories with dung piles and by mauling vegetation.

Female rhinos are ready to have their first calf at four years and are likely to reproduce every five or six years thereafter.

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The Javan rhinoceros is found in Java and possibly in Vietnam. However, the Vietnamese population is probably extinct or soon because there are no adult males in the population to allow breeding.

This rhino is found in extremely lush lowland rainforests, though it will live at higher altitudes if driven there by humans.

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Close up of Javan Rhino


Extinction may loom for the Javan rhino, which has slowly been pushed back over the centuries by hunting and habitat destruction. Today, these problems have reached crisis proportions.

The tiny remaining population is still being hunted to supply the insatiable Chinese market with “medicinal” rhino horns. Furthermore, the jungle is being cut down, and habitat fragmentation is underway.

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Conservation efforts

Conservation of this critically endangered rhino species is spearheaded by the International Rhino Fund and the World Wildlife Foundation. Some of the conservation efforts include working for more sustainable farming in the area and finding alternative sources of Chinese medicine that do not involve shooting rhinos.

Future projects that are now being worked on include creating more sanctuaries and devising plans that will make existing sanctuaries safer and better protected for this million-year-old species of rhinoceros.

About the Javan Rhino

Closeup of Javan Rhino

It is the smallest (closer in size to the black rhinoceros of the genus Diceros) and most recently extinct species of rhinoceros. It belongs to the same genus as the Indian rhinoceros, and has similar mosaic, armour-like skin, but it is smaller (closer in size to the black rhinoceros of the genus Diceros).

Its horn is usually shorter than 9.8 inches, and is smaller than those of the other rhino species. Only adult males have horns; females lack them altogether . Javan rhinos have been recorded as living up to 45 years in captivity.

Javan Rhinos are habitat

The Sumatran rhinoceros was once found across Assam and Bengal (where their ranges may have overlapped with both the Indian and Sumatran rhinos) eastward to Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and perhaps as far south as the Malay Peninsula and islands of Sumatra, Java, and possibly Borneo.

The Javan rhino prefers thick, lowland rain forests, grasslands, and reed beds with numerous waterways, huge floodplains, or wet areas with a lot of mud wallows. Despite its preference for low-lying regions, the Vietnamese subspecies was forced to higher ground (up to 2,000 m or 6561 ft), probably because of human enchroachment and poaching.

Javan Rhino Diet

Back view of Javan Rhino

The Javan rhinoceros is primarily herbivorous, eating plants including trees’ shoots, twigs, young foliage, and fallen fruit. The majority of the species’ preferred plants grow in shaded areas in jungle clearings, scrubland, and other vegetation types without large trees.

The Javan rhino uses its prehensile upper lip to pluck leaves from the trees and eat them. It is the most versatile feeder of all the rhino species, thanks to its ability to knock down trees. It is presently a pure browser, but it was formerly both browsed and grazed in its ancient range. The rhino consumes approximately 50kg of food daily.

It, too, requires salt in its diet, as does the Sumatran rhino. The salt licks that were formerly available throughout its historical territory do not exist in Ujung Kulon; however, rhinos there have been observed drinking seawater, which they may do for the same nutritional need.

Javan Rhino is under threat of extinction

Close up of Javan Rhino

The main danger they face is poaching to feed the global rhino horn trade, as with all five existing species of rhino.

The Javan rhino has been listed as Critically Endangered owing to habitat loss and population fragmentation. There are just under 50 individuals remaining in the wild, making it one of the rarest species on the planet. They may exist in one small group in Java’s Ujung Kulon National Park; east of Jakarta.

The Javan rhino is the only member of its species in the Rhinoceros genus, and it is among just five remaining species in the Rhino family. Rhinos and equids are the sole surviving members of a long-extinct group of ungulates that dates back some 50 million years.

Despite the fact that these species inhabit national parks now, they are still threatened by poaching and small population sizes make them highly vulnerable to disease and natural disasters.

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Javan Rhino standing in water

Save the Rhino

Save the Rhino works with local partners in Asia and Africa to protect the five different rhino species. They support anti-poaching activities, monitoring, environmental education, community conservation, translocations, and captive breeding.


Javan Rhinos are native to the Javan region of Indonesia, but they have also been spotted in Myanmar, Malaysia and Thailand. These species are considered endangered by IUCN Red list due to loss of habitat, poaching for their horns and medicinal purposes, hunting for food.

They are currently at high risk of extinction with less than 50 Javan rhinos left in the wild today. This is an endangered species and is under threat of extinction its population is declining and it’s already rare so it belongs on critically endangered list.

Javan Rhino is a type of rhino that’s native to Javan region of Indonesia and is endangered because it has been poached for its horn which is believed to be used as medicinal purposes. Not that only, but they have also been hunted as food source.


What is Javan Rhino?

The Javan rhino is a grey creature with a long horn. Its bumpy, armored appearance gives it the appearance of a helmet. Its head is smaller and its skin is smooth, but it has many of the same features as the great one-horned rhino.

The Javan rhinoceros was once the most common of Asian rhinoceroses, ranging throughout Southeast Asia and into India and China. With just one known population in the wild and no individuals in captivity, the species is on the verge of extinction.

How big is Javan Rhino habitat?

The Javan rhinoceros’ range has been contracting for at least 3,000 years. The northern rhino’s territory extended into China beginning around 1000 BC, but it was moving southward at approximately 0.5 km (0.31 mi) each year as human settlements grew in the area by around 400 BC.

The Javan rhino was hunted to extinction on the Malay Peninsula by 1932, according to some accounts. The last ones on Sumatra perished during World War II. They were gone from Chittagong and the Sunderbans by the middle of the 20th century.
The Vietnamese rhinoceros was thought extinct across mainland Asia by the conclusion of the Vietnam War.

According to local myths in Cambodia, Javan rhinos have been sighted in the Cardamom Mountains. However, surveys of the region have failed to turn up any proof of their presence. In Vietnam’s Cat Tien region in the late 1980s, a tiny group was discovered.

Where do Javan Rhinos live?

Even the most optimistic scenario forecasts less than a hundred Javan rhinos in existence today. They are one of the world’s most endangered species, with estimates suggesting only a few hundred exist. The Ujung Kulon National Park on Java’s western extremity is home to the last known population of Javan rhinoceros.

This animal once lived in many places. They were able to live with the Indian and Sumatran rhinoceroses, which means they would have been in Assam, Bengal, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. They also lived on islands like Sumatra, Java and maybe Borneo.

The Javan rhino primarily inhabits dense, lowland rain forests, grasslands, and reed beds with abundant rivers, large floodplains, or wet areas with many mud wallows. Although it historically preferred low-lying areas, the subspecies in Vietnam was pushed onto much higher ground (up to 2,000 m or 6,561 ft), probably because of human encroachment and poaching.

Why are Javans Rhinos endangered?

The Sumatran rhinoceros, which was viewed as exceedingly rare in 2000, has been assessed as critically endangered by the IUCN Red List. Despite the fact that this species has not been seen since 2010 on Borneo, there may be a few individuals remaining.

The most serious hazard to the Javan rhino is the tiny size of the remaining populations. This leads to inbreeding and loss of genetic diversity and vitality. The two habitats where Javan rhinos live are safe, but they are too limited for the species’ long-term survival.

Poaching, habitat loss, and declining population are among the rhino’s most significant problems. Habitat destruction and loss for agriculture and construction are additional dangers to the rhino populations. Although habitat is not presently a limiting factor, neither of the two remaining habitats is big enough to allow significant expansion of the rhino population now or in the future.

Javan rhinos need to be reintroduced into areas where they have previously been hunted and their habitats must be revived. These elements are important components of the species’ conservation plan.

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