Rhinos have been under threat from man for a long time. There are five remaining species today: White, Black, Javan, Sumatran and Indian. The main reason for their decline is poaching. Rhino horn has proven to be very valuable on the black market.

The species most in danger are the Sumatran and Javan Rhinos. The Javan Rhino, once roaming throughout southeast Asia, Sumatra and Java, is near extinction with less than 100 surviving in the Udjong Kulon Reserve in western Java. . IUCN lists the Javan rhino as critically endangered and facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the immediate future.

The Sumatran Rhino is now restricted to less than 400 individuals scattered throughout Sumatra. Again, the Sumatran Rhino is listed as critically endangered by the IUCN.

The Indian Rhino was once found across the entire northern part of the Indian sub-continent. Now it is restricted to a few reserves in west Bengal and Nepal with a population of approximately 2,100. IUCN listed as endangered.

The Black Rhino has suffered the most spectacular rate of decline of all rhino species in the last four decades with a reduction of 95%. In 1960, there were approximately 100,000 Black Rhinos but the number has dwindled to less than 2,600. Considered critically endangered by the IUCN.

The White Rhino is split into two populations. The Northern population has suffered severely from poaching and has to declined to around 30 individuals. However its very different for the Southern population. This population was almost extinct during the last century, down to a number of around 100 individuals. But due to effective protection the numbers have increased to 8,400 Southern White Rhinos in the wild. White Rhinos are classed as Lower Risk Conservation Dependent.


  • 85% of the black rhinos have been killed in the last 25 years.
  • In 1990, the two horns from a single Black Rhino brought as much as $50,000.
  • In the past 30 years, poaching has reduced Kenya's black rhinoceros population from 20,000 to a mere 400.

How many are left 
Javan Rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus)60
Sumatran Rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis)300
Indian Rhino (Rhinoceros unicornis)2,400
Black Rhino (Diceros bicornis)2,700
White Rhino (Ceratotherium simum)10,400

Conservation Organisation Links

International Rhino Foundation
The International Rhino Foundation is dedicated to preserving the five species of Rhino. They are involved in techincal, admin and scientific projects to contribute to the conservation of the species.
Visit IRF website

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust The Trust was set up in 1977 in memory of the Naturalist David Sheldrick. Involved in Elephant and Rhino conservation their goal is to protect and preserve the Rhino and to aid in the anti-poaching of elephants.
Visit David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust Website

World Wildlife Fund - Saving RhinosWWF is the principal international conservation organization tackling the rhino crisis on every front-from stepping up protection and support for protected areas and rhino reserves, to stopping poaching and illegal trade in rhino horn, to working with traditional medicine communities to stem demand for rhino-based products.

Visit our other Rhino sections:



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