WWF - Vietnam's Javan rhino now extinct

Vietnam's Javan rhino now extinct

On 25 October 2011, WWF and the International Rhino Foundation confirmed that the Javan rhinoceros in Vietnam is extinct.
The species was initially believed to be extinct in Vietnam until 1988, when a very small population was found still clinging to existence in Cat Tien National Park. Efforts were made to save this population but poor protection of its habitat ultimately led to its demise. The last Javan rhino in Vietnam was found dead in the National Park in April 2010. A new WWF report also points to poaching as the likely cause of the death, as the rhino was found with a bullet in its leg and had its horn removed.

It is one of WWF's highest priority to save the remaining Javan rhinos in Indonesia and the other species in Vietnam – such as the tiger, Asian elephant and endemic species like the saola – that are all at risk of extinction unless law enforcement and protected area management significantly improves.

 / ©: WWF Greater Mekong Programme
The Javan rhino sadly became locally extinct in 2010 in Vietnam
© WWF Greater Mekong Programme

Video: Vietnamese Javan Rhino - Road to Extinction

The last Javan rhino in Vietnam has gone. It is painful that despite significant investment in the Vietnamese rhino population conservation efforts failed to save this unique animal. Vietnam has lost part of its natural heritage.

Tran Thi Minh Hien, WWF-Vietnam Country Director

The most important actions to conserve Vietnam’s endangered species are protecting their natural habitat and deterring poaching and illegal wildlife trade. These actions were inadequate to save the Javan rhino in Vietnam and this continued situation will no doubt lead to the extinction of many more species from Vietnam. Vietnam’s protected areas need more rangers, better training and monitoring, and more accountability.

Nick Cox, Manager of WWF’s Species Programme in the Greater Mekong

Working to save the Javan rhino in Indonesia

The Javan rhinoceros is now believed to be confined to one population, less than 50 individuals, in Ujung Kulon National Park in Indonesia.

The species is critically endangered and with demand for rhino horn for the Asian traditional medicine trade increasing every year, protection and expansion of the Indonesian population is the highest priority.

Learn more about our work to save the Javan rhino in Indonesia.

Support rhino conservation

Javan rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus) / ©: WWF-Canon / Helmut Diller
Javan rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus)
© WWF-Canon / Helmut Diller

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