Surviving Rhino species
Of the five rhino species in the world, the Javan Rhino is the rarest with less than 75 individuals left. Now found only in Indonesia, they were once widespread among the islands of Java and Sumatra, throughout Southeast Asia, India and China. Males have horns, but females don’t and are identifiable by hairless mosaic, armour-like skin.
The Sumatran Rhino is also classified as Critically Endangered with fewer than 80 survivors left. It is a hairy, two-horned rhino (a larger nasal horn and a smaller frontal horn) typically found in Asian rainforests and swamps where they scale steep slopes and riverbanks with ease. Of all the rhinos, the Sumatran species is the most vocal and is known to make three distinct noises, namely eeps, whales and whistle-blows.
The Great One-Horned Rhino is classified as Vulnerable with an estimated 3,580 remaining individuals. Thanks to concerted efforts in Indian and Nepal to protect this species against poaching, it has come back from the brink of extinction with only 200 recorded individuals by the 1900s. Also known as the Indian Rhino, it has little body hair, thick grey-brown skin with pinkish skin folds, and wart-like bumps on its upper legs. It is the second-largest rhino species (White Rhinos are bigger) and is known for having a nasal horn that is slightly back curved.
The Black Rhino is listed as Critically Endangered with about 5,000 individuals left. Over the past 20 years, large-scale poaching has resulted in a 94% decline (from around 70,000 individuals in 1970 to 2,410 in 1995), but thanks to conservation efforts in Africa their numbers have stabilised and even slightly increased. The threat of poaching remains high in Kenya, Zimbabwe, Namibia and South Africa where they are mostly found.
After the elephant, the White Rhino is generally considered the second-largest land mammal weighing almost 3,500 kg (slightly more than a hippo)! Classified as Near Threatened, there are roughly 17,000-18,000 surviving White Rhinos. Like the Black Rhino, it recovered from near extinction with the large majority living in South Africa. Known as the most social of all the rhino species, the graceful giant has a large front horn followed by two smaller horn-like stubs. It is very little hair and a noticeable hump on the back of its neck. It also has the widest set of nostrils of any land-based animal, which makes for a distinctly broad, straight mouth used for grazing.