Javan Rhinoceros

Rhinoceros sondaicus

Click to view a larger image. Click to view a larger image. mammal mammal

Javan Rhinoceros
Image: Mary Plage
Source: photolibrary

Museum specimen featured in the Wild exhibition
Source: Museum Victoria

Type: mammal

Javan Rhinoceros Javan Rhinoceros
Image: Mary Plage
Source: photolibrary

Conservation Status

Secure Vulnerable Endangered Extinct  ]

Hunting and poaching these rhinos for their horns has diminished the species to two tiny, isolated populations of animals that may be too old or too closely related to breed successfully. The populations are so small that disease or natural disaster could wipe them out completely.



Javan Rhinoceroses are herbivores.

They feed on plants, mostly twigs, leaves and fruits.


Javan Rhinoceros relative size depiction as described below

Size relative to a woman and an African Elephant.

up to 2300 kg
up to 3.2 m
1.7 m

Amazing Javan Rhinoceroses

Javan Rhinoceroses are smaller than Indian Rhinoceroses, which are their nearest relatives. Both species have a single horn and deep skin folds that look like armour. The horn is not used for fighting; instead it is used to push through dense undergrowth and to dig muddy depressions for wallowing.

This species is so rare that we do not know much about it. Because fewer than fifty Javan Rhinoceroses are left, they are rarely seen. The little that we know about their size, diet and habits is determined from analysing traces such as footprints and scats. There are no Javan Rhinoceroses in captivity.

The Javan Rhinocerous is found in lowland tropical forests, generally near water. Until the 19th century it was widespread across the Indomalay region, and its former range included open and mixed woodland.

Specialised for browsing shrubs, the upper lip of the Javan Rhinoceros is shaped into a point for grasping twigs and leaves. They also eat fallen fruits.

Did You Know?

Javan Rhinoceroses

  • are critically endangered, with fewer than fifty left
  • have terrible eyesight but a good sense of smell
  • have the smallest horn of the rhinos


Javan Rhinoceros distribution map

Javan Rhinoceroses are found in lowland tropical forests, generally near water. Until the 19th century they were widespread across the Indomalay region in open and mixed woodland.


Other animals from Indomalay

Indian PeafowlLuzon Bleeding-heartMasked Palm CivetIndian Rhinoceros