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The Javan rhino is the most threatened of all five rhino species with just 60 individuals living in a small pocket within Java’s Ujung Kulon National Park in the southwestern tip of Java.  Javan rhinos are also one of the most threatened mammals on earth.  

The Javan rhino is very similar in appearance to the closely related greater one-horned rhino (also known as the Indian rhino) although the Javan species has a smaller head and less prominent skin folds.   The Javan rhino is also the most evasive of our remaining rhino species and the shyest and most timid of all rhinos making them extremely difficult to photograph, particularly in impenetrable areas of their habitat.  Most images of Javan rhinos are from camera traps.

Until the late 19th - early 20th century, Javan rhinos could be found across northeast India and the Sunderbans, throughout mainland Southeast Asia, and on the island of Sumatra.  They are extremely vulnerable to disease, inbreeding, natural disasters (the Ujung Kulon is susceptible to tsunamis) and invasive plant species such as Arenga palm which leaves the habitat barren of food.

Scientific name:

Rhinoceros sondaicus


Lesser One Horned rhinoceros or Sunda rhino


Indonesian Javan - Rhinoceros sondaicus sondaicus

Vietnamese Javan - Rhinoceros sondaicus annamiticus

IUCN conservation status:

Indonesian Javan - Critically endangered (CR)

Vietnamese Javan - Extinct (as of 2011)

CITES appendix status:

Appendix. I

Wild population:

Approx. 60 individuals (inc. 3 new births confirmed September 2015)


Java's Ujung Kulon National Park


Dense lowland tropical rainforest, Java


Leaves, branches and fruit

The Javan rhino is a browser

Average height:

1.4 - 1.7 meters

Average weight:

900kg - 2300kg

Average length:

2 - 4 meters

Skin colour:

Grey or grey/brown skin, almost black when wet with pink colouring in the folds

Average horn length:

20cm - 25cm


Up to 48km/h (running)




Very shy

Average lifespan:

35 - 40 years


16 months

Birth intervals:

2 -3 years

Sexual maturity:

4 -5 years (females)

6 years (males)

Fun facts:

The scientific name "Sondaicus" derives from "Sunda," the name for the western part of Java.  The word is also used to indicate the main chain of Indonesian islands, the “Sunda islands” an area once inhabited by Javan rhinos.

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