Rhinos: Where they stand

While WWF’s primary work focuses on greater one-horned and black rhinos, the scope of our efforts—on antipoaching, community engagement, habitat management, and more—supports all rhino species in one way or another. This roundup of information uses data from the IUCN Redlist, the world’s most comprehensive information source on the conservation status of wildlife, and our wildlife team’s expertise.

Greater one-horned rhino and calf illustration

GREATER ONE-HORNED RHINO 

Rhinoceros unicornis

IUCN STATUS Vulnerable

LOCATION India • Nepal

HABITAT Grasslands • Savannas • Shrublands • Near swamps, forests, riversides

POPULATION ~3,700

THREATS Poaching • Habitat loss and degradation • Climate change • Human-wildlife conflict

CURRENT TRENDS Numbers have recovered from a low of around 200 at the turn of the 20th century to around 3,700 today.

CONSERVATION EFFORTS Antipoaching and protection • Translocation • Active habitat management • Rhino mounds

Drawing of Javan rhino bellowing

JAVAN RHINO

Rhinoceros sondaicus

IUCN STATUS Critically Threatened

LOCATION Java (Indonesia) • Single population in Ujung Kulon National Park

HABITAT Moist broad-leaf forests

POPULATION 74

THREATS Very small population size • Habitat loss and degradation • Poaching • Natural disasters (volcanic eruptions and tsunamis) • Diseases transmitted by domestic livestock and native wild cattle

CURRENT TRENDS Once lived throughout northeast India and Southeast Asia, but today only one isolated population remains.

CONSERVATION EFFORTS Active habitat management • Antipoaching and protection • Relocation

Drawing of Sumatran rhino eating leaves

SUMATRAN RHINO

Dicerorhinus sumatrensis

IUCN STATUS Critically Threatened

LOCATION Sumatra and Indonesian Borneo

HABITAT Dense tropical forests

POPULATION Fewer than 80

THREATS Very small population size • Lack of breeding in the wild due to isolation of remaining animals • Habitat loss and degradation • Poaching

CURRENT TRENDS Once found in other parts of Southeast Asia, including Bhutan, northeast India, southern China, Cambodia, and Thailand. Currently the most threatened rhino species.

CONSERVATION EFFORTS Relocation to managed conservation breeding facilities to maximize population growth • DNA sampling of biodiversity

Drawing of a white rhino from front

WHITE RHINO

Ceratotherium simum

IUCN STATUS Near Threatened

LOCATION South Africa • Botswana • Kenya • Namibia • Swaziland • Zambia • Zimbabwe • Uganda

HABITAT Grasslands • Savannas • Shrublands

POPULATION 17,212–18,915

THREATS Poaching

CURRENT TRENDS The southern white rhino recovered from near extinction, with numbers as low as 50 in the wild in the 1990s.

CONSERVATION EFFORTS Translocation • Antipoaching and protection • FLIR antipoaching technology • Rhino DNA antipoaching project

Drawing of black rhino from side

BLACK RHINO

Diceros bicornis

IUCN STATUS Critically Threatened

LOCATION Kenya • Namibia • South Africa • Swaziland • Tanzania • Zimbabwe • Zambia • Botswana • Malawi

HABITAT Grasslands • Savannas • Shrublands • Deserts • Woodlands

POPULATION 5,366–5,627

THREATS Poaching

CURRENT TRENDS Numbers crashed from roughly 65,000 in the 1970s to a low of 2,400 in 1995. Since then, populations have more than doubled.

CONSERVATION EFFORTS Communal conservancies • Namibia’s Rhino Custodianship Program • Antipoaching, anti-trafficking, and protection • Biological monitoring

 

 

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