Javan Rhinoceros Rhinoceros sondaicus

How do we protect the rapidly disappearing Javan Rhino?

Javan Rhinoceros Rhinoceros sondaicus

Critically Endangered

The Javan Rhinoceros currently lives in lowland tropical rainforest areas, especially in the vicinity of water (Schenkel and Schenkel 1969). The species formerly lived in more open mixed forest and grassland and on high mountains. Javan rhinos are the most threatened of the five rhino species, with only around 60 individuals that live only in Ujung Kulon National Park in Java, Indonesia. Javan rhinos once lived throughout northeast India and Southeast Asia. Vietnam’s last Javan rhino was poached in 2010. Because of their rarity, little is known about its preferred habitat, but they are not naturally restricted to dense tropical forest (Schenkel and Schenkel 1969); the habitat in which they currently exist may not be optimal.

The Javan #Rhino is the world’s most endangered of the 5 #rhinoceros species. There are only a few dozen left. Their main threat is #palmoil expansion and #deforestation. Support them with your shop and #Boycott4Wildlife

Types of Rhinos throughout the world
Types of Rhinos throughout the world

Available rhino habitat is limited by two major factors: (1) the threat of human encroachment and (2) the predominance of a palm species (Arenga obtusifolia), known locally as langkap, which is rampant in Ujung Kulon. Arenga dominates the forest canopy in many locations, and inhibits the growth of rhino food plants. 

Arenga palm is problematic for a number of reasons. Where Arenga palm dominates, little else grows. Currently, an estimated 60% (18,000 ha) of the peninsular section of the Park is covered with Arenga palm (B. Talukdar 2009 in litt.), precluding the growth of suitable rhino food. An Arenga palm removal/management effort was initiated in 2010 in the Gunung Honje portion of the park as part of the Javan Rhino Study and Conservation Area. As of December 2018, 150 ha of Arenga have been removed from the area.

Based on camera trap data, an estimated 68 Javan Rhinos live in Ujung Kulon National Park on the western tip of Java, but only the 33% are inferred to be reproductive individuals. Therefore this species is listed as Critically Endangered.

Further Information


Ellis, S. & Talukdar, B. 2020. Rhinoceros sondaicus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2020: e.T19495A18493900. Downloaded on 24 January 2021.

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Published by Palm Oil Detectives

Hi, I’m Palm Oil Detective’s Editor in Chief. Palm Oil Detectives is partly a consumer website about palm oil in products and partly an online community for writers, artists and musicians to showcase their work and express their love for endangered species. I have a strong voice for creatures great and small threatened by deforestation. With our collective power we can shift the greed of the retail industry and influence big palm oil to stop cutting down forests. Be bold! Be courageous! Join me and stand up for the animals with your art and your supermarket choices!

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