Javan rhinoceros

Critically endangered

Animal Group: Mammal
Regions: Asia
Sub-regions: South-Eastern Asia
Countries: Indonesia

The Javan rhino is also known as the lesser one-horned rhino and is native to Asia. It is one of the smaller rhino species and is the lighter and smaller relative of the greater one-horned rhino. At shoulder height, it stands just 1.4 – 1.7 metres tall. What is worth noting is that distinguishing the males from females at first glance can be tricky, as there is virtually no size difference between the two. In fact, there is evidence to suggest that the females could be, on average, slightly larger than the males, which is highly unusual. Their weight can vary greatly and can range from anything between 900 kg and 2,300 kg. In the wild, their average life expectancy is 35 to 40 years. Their colour is a dusky grey and they have one single horn on their nose, around 20cm in length that is grey or brown in colour. One characteristic which helps them to stand out is the fact that their upper lip is pointed and long, allowing them to grasp a much firmer grip on their food. Javan rhinos are herbivores, eating a diet rich in twigs, shoots, plants, leaves, and fruit. What is interesting is that Javan rhinos actually require a little sodium (salt) in their diets to enjoy optimal health.

Population Distribution

Javan rhinos are native to the Java, Indonesia and now currently only reside in one single location, Ujung Kulon peninsula, situated in western Java. In the late 60’s their population stood at around 30 in the region, though by 1980 this number had doubled. Since then these numbers have remained the same, or even have declined slightly. In the past, these rhinos were common in most areas of South East Asia, in regions including Calcutta, Bangladesh, China, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and much more. Overtime however, due to poaching, loss of habitat, and other environmental factors, these numbers began to decline and decline.

Threats – As mentioned, Javan Rhinos are now under threat of becoming extinct for good. Some of the main reasons for this and some of the main threats to the rhino itself include poaching, the fact that their population size is now so small, and the fact that they are naturally losing their habitat for agricultural purposes.