Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild


There are 5 main species of rhino. Black and White rhinos are found only in Africa while the Indian Rhino, Sumatran Rhino and Javan Rhino occur in Asia.

The White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) is herbivorous and is the second largest land animal in the world. Its current range is primarily Southern Africa and there are roughly 20,170 White Rhino still left in the wild. Their survival today is one of conservations success stories as their numbers were less than 100 in 1895. In recent years the Northern White Rhino subspecies, formally found in Garamba National Park, is now believed to be extinct in the wild.

The Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) is a herbivorous browser and there are roughly 4,880 Black Rhino still left in the wild, down from an estimated 70,000 in the late 1960s. The Black Rhino has seen the most drastic decline of all rhino species, because of poaching and habitat loss. There are four subspecies of Black Rhino, but the West African Black Rhino (Diceros bicornis longipes) has been tentatively declared extinct.

The Sumatran Rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) is a herbivorous browser and its preferred habitat is dense tropical rain forest. It occurs from North-East India through Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia and the Indonesian Islands of Borneo and Sumatra; hence its name. It is the most endangered species of rhino due to its rapid decline of more than 50% in the last 15 years. There are currently roughly 140-210 Sumatran Rhinos left in fragmented populations throughout South East Asia.   The Sumatran Rhino is the smallest of all Rhino species and is particularly hairy.

The Javan Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus) is very restricted in occurrence, found in the dense tropical rain forest of Ujung Kulon, but in 2010 was declared extinct in Cat Tien National Park, Vietnam. It was known in historic times from the Ganges delta in Bangladesh, adjacent parts of India, through Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam and Malaysia to the Indonesian islands of Sumatra and Java. It is the rarest species of rhino and only about 35-45 individuals remain on the Ujung Kulon Peninsula, Western Java. The population has been stable due to conservation efforts, but numbers don't seem to be increasing. The Javan Rhino looks much like the Indian Rhino but is smaller and its skin-folds are less defined.

The Indian Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) is a herbivorous browser that occurs in the foothills of the Himalaya in grass and wetland habitats in Nepal and India (especially Assam). Its primary characteristics are its 'armour plating' and its single horn. There are about 3,264 Indian Rhino left in the wild, but their numbers were less than 200 early in the 20th century. This demise was mainly caused by poaching and habitat loss.


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