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The Javan Rhinoceros

Updated on April 3, 2012

Javan Rhinoceros(Rhinoceros Sondaicus)

Once one of the most widespread of Asian Rhinos, it ranged throughout Java, Sumatra, throughout southeast Asia and into India and China, there is now only one known population left in the wild and this numbers a mere 40 animals, maybe less. There are none living in captivity, the last recorded animal died in 1907. Because of this the Javan Rhino is now on the Critically Endangered List.

This also the least studied of the Rhinos because researchers and scientist have a real feared disturbing it, so fecal samples and camera traps are used to check on the remaining animals health and behavioral patterns.

A second population in Cant Tien National Park in Vietnam was tragically confirmed extinct in 2011.


Last remaing refuge of the Javan Rhino

Facts that are known.

Firstly the Javan Rhino' is possibly one of the rarest LARGE mammals on earth.

Its colouring is usually gray or grayish brown and it has Mosaicked skin similar to that found on the Indian Rhino'. This means it has distinctive folds in its skin which give the appearance of armour. It is a single-horned animal , usually on the male only and this in itself is small growing to just 25cms(10ins) long.

It is a quick and agile animal, which has 3 distinct toes on each foot, though as it has no natural predators apart from man, the only time it would need speed is to either flee from poachers or attack in defense of its young.

The Javan Rhino lives on a diet of grass, twigs, leaves and saplings, for which its prehensile top lip comes in very handy. and makes regular visits to salt licks formed by mineral seepage's. It also drinks seawater to supplement its mineral needs.

It mainly inhabits lowland rain forest, floodplains and wet, open grasslands, this remaining range being protected, but there is still a great threat from poachers.


one of the last shots of a Javan Rhino in Vietnam. The last one was killed by poachers.
one of the last shots of a Javan Rhino in Vietnam. The last one was killed by poachers.
Javan Rhinos in theUjongkulon National Park
Javan Rhinos in theUjongkulon National Park

The Reasons for decline.

The reasons that the numbers have declined to the point of Critical endangerment are not many.

Primarily the numbers are so dangerously low due to poaching. Rhino horn is still used in traditional Chinese medicine and with prices reaching as high as $30,000 per kilogram and even more there is a large Black Market!!

Secondly there is a loss of habitat especially as a result of wars (Vietnam War), and thirdly the chance of disease and of course lack of genetic diversity.The last leads to depressed inbreeding which will weaken the species further.

There are great steps being taken to continually protect this very rare Rhinoceros, and recently reports of breeding couples being seen on the camera traps is giving heart to the conservationists.

All we can do is hope that yet another species that has been on the planet probably longer than man gets a chance to thrive again.

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    • clairemy profile image
      Author

      Claire 5 years ago

      You are probably right, but I hope not. Room for all wild species is the problem. Maybe because there are too many people?

    • Kosmo profile image

      Kelley 5 years ago from California

      I'm afraid the Javan Rhino is probably doomed. In this century many more species will disappear. There simply isn't enough room for them. Oh, well. Later!

    • clairemy profile image
      Author

      Claire 5 years ago

      Thankyou very much for the vote and to answer you....Yes they are only in Indoneia now.

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 5 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      Voted awesome and beautiful. So they are only in Indonesia now, is that correct? I hope that this is another animal that won't be gone forever. Thank you for the fascinating hub.

    • clairemy profile image
      Author

      Claire 5 years ago

      Thankyou, and yes I am going to keep them coming.

      Next one is going to be based on a hubquestion.....

    • LauraD093 profile image

      Laura Tykarski 5 years ago from Pittsburgh PA

      Your thanks is appreciated but as well as you write and set-up your hubs it was my "reading pleasure." Please keep them coming really enjoy reading your work and have a great interest in your various topics.

    • clairemy profile image
      Author

      Claire 5 years ago

      Thankyou for your vote and for visiting. I love all nature and will continue along this particular theme for my hubs.

      Any help is good help, even in my small way.

    • LauraD093 profile image

      Laura Tykarski 5 years ago from Pittsburgh PA

      I voted up and interesting on your hub clairemy. I have always been involved in conservation and rescue work through my community and beyond.Your photo gallery was great. Ty for a well written and laid out hub.