Photo: Rhett Buttler/Mogabay

SUMATRAN RHINO

(Dicerorhinus sumatrensis)

ANIMALIA - MAMMALIA


Status

Critically Endangered

Population trend

Decreasing

Population

80 Individuals

Threats

Habitat loss and illegal hunting

The Sumatran rhino was once distributed in southeast Asia, from northeast India and southern China to Cambodia, the Malay peninsula, Myanmar, Thailand, and the islands of Sumatra and Borneo in Indonesia. Today, they are only found in Sumatra. The last individual in Borneo died in 2019. It is estimated that only 80 individuals remain in fragmented areas mostly in the Leuser ecosystem national park in northern Sumatra.

The main threats to the Sumatran Rhino are habitat loss for agriculture and logging and illegal hunting for its horn, which is attributed medicinal properties or used as an ornament in countries such as China and Vietnam.

This species is listed as Critically Endangered by the IUCN and included in appendix I of CITES. There are various programs against illegal hunting and others focused on breeding it in captivity. In addition, the Rhino Protection Units (RPUs) have been implemented to patrol its entire distribution area.

References