- Don't buy rhino horn products. Illegal trade in rhino horn is a continuing problem, posing one of the greatest threats to rhinos today.
- Adopt a Javan rhino through the WWF RhinoCare Program
- Adopt a Sumatran rhino through WWF-US
- Use and support sustainable wood, paper and palm oil. By purchasing certified sustainable palm oil and FSC-certified forest products, retailers, traders, and manufacturers help protect Sumatran and Javan rhino habitat by limiting illegal logging and forest conversion to oil palm plantations. Consumers can also help by demanding certified products.
- Donate to WWF to support the Asian Rhino and Elephant Action Strategy
- Spread the word! Click on the button to share this information with others via email or your favourite social networking service
Threats to Asian rhinos
The greatest threat by far to Asian rhino populations is poaching.
Although there is no scientific proof of its medical value, rhino horn is highly prized in traditional Asian medicine, where it is ground into a fine powder or manufactured into tablets as a treatment for a variety of illnesses such as nosebleeds, strokes, convulsions, and fevers.
As a result, poachers continue to kill the animals to take the horn, despite increased surveillance and protection.
Greater one-horned rhino
Conservation efforts have seen the number of greater one-horned (or Indian) rhinos grow from 600 to 2,575 since 1975. At the same time, tree growth has reduced the rhinos’ grassland habitat, and the human population has also grown. This has led to conflict between rhinos and people over the remaining available non-forest areas.
In this reduced living space, rhinos have destroyed farm crops and caused some human casualties, and humans have retaliated against the animals.
Sumatran & Javan rhinos
The same problem exists for the other 2 Asian rhino species, with slightly different parameters.
The issue leading to conflict with humans is not that trees are reducing grassland, but that land-clearing is reducing the rhinos’ tropical forest habitat.
This habitat loss not only reduces the available living space for rhinos, but also isolates and fragments rhino herds, making reproduction and genetic mixing difficult to impossible.