Javan Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus)


Class: Mammalia
Order: Perissodactyla
Family:    Rhinocerotidae
Size:    Height: 5 to 6 feet (1.5 to 1.8 m) at the shoulder  Length: 9 to 12 feet (2.7 to 3.7 m)
Weight: Up to 4,400 pounds (1,995 kg)
Diet: A wide variety of plants and fruit
Distribution: Java and Vietnam
Young:  1 calf every 4 to 5 years
Animal Predators:  None
IUCN Status: Critically Endangered
Terms: Young: Calf
Lifespan: Up to 40 years



       All five rhino species are threatened with extinction and are included in the IUCN Red List.

       Rhinoceros: from Greek meaning nose and horn; sondaicus: refers to the Sunda Islands in Indonesia, Sunda means Java.

       Less than 70 exist worldwide, making Javan rhinoceroses one of the rarest mammals on Earth.

       There are no Javan rhinos living in captivity.


Male rhinos have a horn that can grow to 10 inches in length. Females either have no horn, or a small one. The horn is made of keratin, the same material found in human fingernails. They have a special front lip to enable them to grasp food. Although Javan rhinos have poor eyesight, they have excellent hearing and sense of smell.



In Java, the rhinos live in forested areas but may be found grazing in open grassy spots as well. They prefer lowland forests, but have been driven to higher and higher altitudes as their home ranges have been reduced. In Vietnam, their range is limited to steep hills with rattan and bamboo stands. Rhinos need a water source, not only for drinking but to cool down. Each rhino has a territory of approximately five to 20 square miles, but their ranges overlap and they are very tolerant of each other. 


Feeding Habits

Javan rhinos eat a variety of plants, including fruit, and need to consume salt on a regular basis. They may knock down  young trees to get at edibles otherwise out of their reach. 



Females are capable of mating once they reach the age of three to four, while males start later, after they reach the age of six. Following mating, the female goes through a 16-month pregnancy, and gives birth to a single calf. The calf nurses for up to two years and will stay with the mother for up to four years. 



Although Javan rhinoceroses are solitary animals, they meet up at mud wallows. While there, they roll in the mud to coat themselves all over for protection from the sun and from parasites. They are only found in pairs during mating season or when a mother has a dependent youngster. They are generally peaceful animals, unless threatened when wounded or when with a calf. 



Although Javan rhinos were once common in Mayanmar (Burma), Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Malay Peninsula, Java, Vietnam, Sumatra and Northern India, there are now approximately 50 living in the Ujung Kulon National Park in Java, Indonesia, while approximately five to ten live in the Cat Tien National Park in Vietnam. Javan and Sumatran rhinos have the unfortunate distinction of being among the rarest large mammals in the world. Sumatran rhinos are extinct in Vietnam, and the Javan rhino was once believed extinct there as well. 



Javan Rhinoceros Wildlife Fact File, IM Pub, US