Oct 28
Javan rhinoceros image

Javan rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus)

Species: Javan rhinoceros                       (Rhinoceros sondaicus)

Status: Critically Endangered (CR)

Interesting Fact: Rhino horn is not made of bone, but keratin, the same substance that forms nails and hair.

The prehistoric-looking Javan rhinoceros is one of the world’s rarest large mammals. This amazing species has a single horn and an armour-plated appearance caused by the deep folds of hairless skin. Little is known of this exceptionally rare mammal. It is mainly a browser of leaves, twigs, fruits and shoots and often breaks saplings down to access food. The rate of reproduction in this species is relatively slow; females give birth to a single young every one to three years, after a presumed gestation of 15 to 16 months, as in other rhinos.

Habitat loss and poaching for its horn have played a major role in the decline of the Javan rhino, which, until recently, existed in just two populations, one in Vietnam and one on the island of Java. The last rhino in Vietnam has recently been killed by poachers, leaving this species extinct in Vietnam, and there are fears it may be too late to save the remaining 50 or so individuals left on Java.

Find out more about the Javan rhinoceros on the EDGE website.

View images and videos of the Javan rhinoceros on ARKive.

Becky Moran, ARKive Species Text Author

  • Dmitri (October 29th, 2011 at 1:45 am):

    It will be such a pity if this species will dissappear: the Earth will be a poorer in biodiversity place with that species’ extinction. It will be also a sign of our failure regarding the management of Earth bioresources: homo sapiens? Yeah, right!

  • Emmanuel Fardoulis (October 31st, 2011 at 6:17 pm):

    I can not beleve the world govenments,Vietnam, the USA, Australia ,The UK., The United Nations , Germany ,China along with all the other nations where demand for wild life products are in demand,WWF,the Royal Families of the world, and any other country or organisation could not ban together to save the Vietnames Rhinoceros.This creature managed to survive the Vietnam War but as soon it was rediscovered poachers could not help them selves and had to kill off this prehistoric creatures for their horns.Not only should the poachers be punished for life but the people who demand and buy animal and plants for their parts and products have to be made know to the public,jailed for life,and fined .Discovering the Javan Rhinoceros, is exactly the same as discovering live Mammoths,as both may have lived at the same time,in different parts of the world.Think of the anger,hatred,and repecutions if these last Mammoths were killed just for their ivory,then the same has to happen for the last Vietnam Java Rhinoceros.If the last few Java Rhinoceros are killed off, it would be like killing off a whole culture/nation of people.When man made monuments are destroyed by man the world goes up into an uprawe ,but these can be replaced,animals and plants can not be brought back once they have gone extinct.Humanity is a failure as we know it,sending man to the Moon,discovering new technologies…but not being able to save species from extinction is like two steps forward and three steps backward-we have achieved less in allowing any species to go extinct,and are dumer for it.