With fewer than 50 Javan Rhinos surviving in only one known location, the Javan Rhino is quite possibly the most critically endangered mammal on earth.
There are none in captivity, and only one known location of Javan Rhinos in the wild, Ujung Kulon NP in Indonesi. The Vietnamese subspeciesof Javan rhino was declared extinct in 2011. Thanks to IRF-funded conservation efforts, there has not been a poaching incident in Ujung Kulon NP for at least seven years.
Javan Rhino Conservation: Top Priorities
The International Rhino Foundation helped the Indonesian government develop a strategy for ensuring the continued survival of Javan Rhinos. The top priorities for the future are to increase the population in Ujung Kulon to 70 animals (the park’s carrying capacity) and to then translocate several animals to begin establishing a second population in a secure area.
Read more articles about the Javan Rhino.
The Javan Rhino has one horn comprised of compressed keratin - basically hair and fingernail material. The horn is about 10 inches long, and is thought to occur only in the male Javan Rhino.
The Javan Rhino is gray or grayish brown, and the skin has a mosaic patterning that gives it a somewhat prehistoric appearance. Like the Indian Rhino, these rhinos have distinctive folds of skin on its body, which look like plates of armor. The Javan Rhino has eyelashes and a little bit of hair on the ears. There is also hair on the tip of the tail.
The Javan Rhino has an unmistakably long and prehensile upper lip. The prehensile lip enables the rhino to grasp food items, such as twigs, leaves, and saplings, and pull them into the mouth. The Javan Rhino also grazes in open grassy areas.
Javan Rhinos need to consume salt regularly to supplement their diet. In addition to visiting the salt-licks formed by mineral seepages, Javan Rhinos (in Ujung Kulon) drink seawater.
Like all rhinos, the Javan Rhino is an odd-toed ungulate, having three toes - each with a sturdy hoof-like nail. Also in common with other rhinos is a superb sense of hearing, keen sense of smell - but relatively poor eyesight.
Size of the Javan Rhino
The Javan Rhino's weight ranges from 2,000 - 5,000 pounds, and stands from 5 - 5.5 feet at the shoulder. End-to-end, the Javan Rhino can be 6 - 11.5 feet in length. The smaller Vietnamese subspecies is similar in size to the Sumatran Rhino, standing only 3 - 5 feet high at the shoulder and weighing 1,300 - 2,000 pounds.
The Javan Rhino is quick and agile, like the other Asian Rhinos,and is reported to run up to 30 mph and make sharp turns in mid-air if necessary.
A large part of the Javan Rhino's day is spent in the water, wallowing in mud holes, pools, and puddles.
It is estimated that Javan Rhinos live about 30 - 45 years in the wild, but have not fared well in captivity, only living up to 20 years. There has not been a Javan Rhino in captivity since 1907.
Scientific Name and Origin
- Rhinoceros sondaicus
- Rhinoceros: from the Greek rhino, meaning "nose" and ceros, meaning "horn"
- sondaicus: (Latin -icus indicates a locality) referring to the Sunda islands in Indonesia.; "Sunda" means "Java"
Species information compiled from WWF, International Rhino Foundation, and Save the Rhino International.