Javan rhinoceros: find out what this animal is like, its physical characteristics, character, behavior, etc. The Rhinocerotidae family is made up of five species grouped...

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The Rhinocerotidae family consists of five species grouped into four genera, one of which is Rhinoceros, which includes two living species of Asiatic rhinoceros. One of them is the Javan rhinoceros, whose scientific name is Rhinoceros sondaicus, and which is critically endangered. Three subspecies have been recognized, which are: Rhinoceros sondaicus sondaicus sondaicus, Rhinoceros sondaicus annamiticus (extinct) and Rhinoceros sondaicus inermis (extinct).

The demand for rhinoceros horn and the severe impact on habitat are the main reasons why the species is critically endangered, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Wildlife Red List nature.We invite you to continue reading this PlanetAnimal sheet to learn more about the characteristics of the Javan rhinoceros, its place of life and much more!


  • Asia
  • Bangladesh
  • Cambodia
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Laos
  • Malaysia
  • Myanmar
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

Characteristics of the Javan rhinoceros

Among the Asian species, the Javan rhinoceros is the smallest, with an average height of 1.7 m, a length of 2 to 4 meters and a mass of 1.5 to 2 tons. Some studies indicate that females grow larger than males, although their body mass is similar. One of the most curious characteristics is that they have almost no hair, except for the nose, horn and tail, which have an accumulation of hair.They have a gray coloring, but not intense.

As for the horn, the males have a small horn measuring about 25 cm, while the females have no horn or have a small protruding formation. The upper lip of these animals is prehensile and elongated, it actually extends beyond the lower lip, and they also have quite large teeth. Another feature of Javan rhinos is their wrinkled body, folds can easily be seen in several places on their large body. They have poor eyesight, but a well-developed sense of smell and hearing.

Habitat of the Javan rhinoceros

The Javan rhino's range has shrunk alarmingly, previously extending into Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, and possibly southern China. However, there are no precise data on all the areas in which it was distributed.As far as habitat characteristics are concerned, it is generally forests, open mixed grasslands and relatively high ground.

Where does the Javan rhinoceros live? Today it is restricted to lowland rainforest habitat, with a nearby waterhole, which is essential for the species. In this way, these animals concentrate in areas near water, with accumulations of mineral s alts and the formation of swamps or marshes.

Habits and lifestyle of the Javan rhinoceros

The Javan rhinoceros is particularly solitary, forming pairs only for breeding days, it is then possible to see females with their young or single individuals. A typical habit is that of wallowing in mud, in order to moisturize their skin and protect it from pests and disease. In times of drought, the lack of hiding places can cause them problems.In these spaces, some individuals can be seen together, but this happens because they meet in this place, and not with the idea of regrouping.

Another typical characteristic of males is to use their horns to deepen the spaces where they wallow. It is also common to see them rubbing their horns on the bark of trees. They are territorial, although there may be overlapping territories, more often between females than with males. They are animals that do not back down easily in the face of possible threats, and even have an aggressive behavior, mainly in the presence of their only predators, which are humans, from whom they always prefer to stay away.

Java Rhinoceros diet

The Javan rhinoceros is exclusively herbivorous, its diet being mainly based on fruits, leaves, shoots and bark. They have a predilection for the species Ficus variegata and kleinhovia variegataa.They use their prehensile lips to snatch food and then chew it with their teeth. They go to great lengths to grab the parts of plants that attract them, so much so that they are able to bend small trees to access the high parts where the leaves are.

On the other hand, they need a mineral supply, so if there is no presence of s alt accumulation, they can resort to drinking sea water for compensate for these nutritional needs.

An important, but problematic aspect related to food is the presence in the habitat of the Javan rhinoceros of a palm tree, more precisely of the species Arenga obtusifolia. By growing in an uncontrolled way, it is able to inhibit the growth of other plants, in particular those which constitute the diet of the rhinoceros, which leads to a significant limitation of the availability of food for the rhinoceros.

Reproduction of the Javan rhinoceros

Due to the population status of the species, studies of their biology are in some cases limited. It is estimated that sexual maturity is reached by females at 5 to 7 years of age and by males at 10 years of age. These animals can breed all year round. Males make sounds to attract the female, who usually chooses the male with the loudest sound.

It's a kind of courtship but with some confrontation between the couple. These individuals can mate with more than one member during the reproductive stage.

Gestation lasts an average of 16 months, with the formation of a single baby, who will consume milk from 12 to 24 months and become independent after two years.

State of conservation of the Javan rhinoceros

The Javan rhino species is critically endangered and extinct in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Laos, Peninsular Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.Poaching to obtain the horn was the first cause of this situation. On the other hand, all extant individuals are reduced to a single area, Ujung Kuoni National Park on the island of Java, so this means that the population depends on the carrying capacity of the ecosystem, as well than the impact generated by human actions. The availability of food is another cause of pressure on the species, as well as the transmission of certain diseases by local livestock.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, there are less than 20 specimens of this species. Additionally, conservation measures include designating the Javan rhinoceros as a protected species, as well as its long-standing listing under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). . Poaching has been regulated and several partnerships between various organizations have been set up to monitor the species.

Java Rhinoceros pictures

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