Factsheet: Asian Rhinoceros

Posted on 08 March 2006    
Javan rhino (Rhinocero sondaicus), Ujung Kulon peninsular, Indonesia.
© Alain Compost
Historically hunted for their horn, a prized ingredient in traditional Asian medicines, and devastated by the destruction of their lowland forest habitat, Asian rhino populations are now distressingly small.

These animals are among the world's most endangered, with one species numbering only around 60 individuals. Throughout their range, their habitat continues to dwindle fast due to illegal logging and other human pressures, and the threat of poaching is ever-present.

WWF considers the three Asian rhino species as 'flagships' - that is, charismatic representatives of the biodiversity of the complex ecosystems they inhabit. Conserving the rhinos and their habitat will also help many other species.

WWF has been working on rhino conservation for over four decades. In 1998, WWF created the Asian Rhino and Elephant Action Strategy (AREAS) out of recognition that conservation success will only be possible through a wide-ranging approach that goes beyond protecting isolated areas and addresses issues of land-use practices.
Javan rhino (Rhinocero sondaicus), Ujung Kulon peninsular, Indonesia.
© Alain Compost Enlarge

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Donate to WWF

Your support will help us build a future where humans live in harmony with nature.

Enter Yes if you accept the terms and conditions