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How many rhinos are left in the world?

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The rhino is one of the animals many of us are most familiar with. In all our animal coloring books for kids there is always a rhino. One of the most famous large animals in Africa, the rhino is a member of the Big Five. The great rhino is famous for its large horns, but what else can we really recall about it? They are charming in appearance and behavior. Unfortunately, however, rhino populations around the world are plummeting. Let's take a look at how many rhinos are left in the world and what is being done to help them!

How many rhinos are left in the world?

Big Five
One of the most distinctive features of rhinos is the large horns near the tip of the nose.

©Maggy Meyer/Shutterstock.com

Rhinos and elephants were the last giant animals to roam the Earth for a long time before humans. Africa and Asia are the two continents where they are found in large numbers. Rhinos have even been depicted in cave paintings. According to the World Wildlife Fund, there were approximately 500,000 rhinos in Asia and Africa in the early 20th century. However, by 1970, the rhino population had dropped to 70,000, and today, there are approximately 27,000 rhinos remaining in the wild.

There are five different species of rhinos. Three of them are listed as critically endangered. Let's look at rhino populations by species to get a better idea of how many rhinos of each species are left.

Rhino Populations by Species

Animal with the hardest skin - rhino
There are five species of rhinos in the world.


As we mentioned before, there are five different species of rhinos in the world. Of the five species, two are African and three are Asian. Below is a snapshot of the status of all five rhino species in 2022.

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white rhino

A significant portion of the rhino population consists of white rhinos. Two subspecies of white rhino are found in Africa: the northern white rhino and the southern white rhino. In the wild, there are an estimated 17,000 to 19,000 white rhinos. Unfortunately, this number is declining. Wild populations are thought to have declined by about 12 percent over the past decade. According to the IUCN Red List, they are nearly threatened.

black rhino

Among rhino species, the black rhino is the second largest. Estimates of their population range from 5,366 to 5,630. While that number sounds low, their population is actually growing. The International Rhino Foundation estimates that the population of the species has increased by 16-17% over the past decade. It remains critically endangered according to the IUCN Conservation Red List. Yet this population growth is proof that conservation efforts are working.

big one horned rhino

The great one-horned rhino, also known as the "Indian rhino," is classified as Vulnerable. Thankfully, the current population is around 3,700 and growing. About a century ago, there were only 100 individuals of this species. As a result, conservation efforts are progressing well. Over the years, the governments of India and Nepal have made several efforts to combat rhino poaching and expand protected areas for these animals.

Sumatran Rhino

There aren't many large mammals on Earth more endangered than the Sumatran rhino. It has been listed as critically endangered. Currently, there are fewer than 80 Sumatran rhinos left in the wild, and the number is rapidly declining. Sumatran rhinos live mainly in Borneo and Sumatra in Indonesia. Due to habitat loss, it is found almost everywhere except in Sumatra and Borneo, where it is found in very small numbers.

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javan rhino

Like the Sumatran rhino, the Javan rhino is listed as critically endangered. That's because only 75 of them live in the wild today. Despite this, the population remains stable. In 1965, there were fewer than 20 Javan rhinos left. Successful conservation programs result in increased and stable animal populations. Java is an island in Indonesia that is home to the entire Javan rhino population.

What caused rhino numbers to plummet?

Besides poaching, habitat loss is one of the main factors contributing to the decline in rhino numbers.

© Millie Bond – Copyright AZ Animals

Rhino populations are declining due to a number of factors. Habitat loss is one of the most important contributors. Growing populations in Asia and Africa inevitably encroach on rhino habitat. The land is constantly being cleared for human habitation, agriculture and logging. For example, the Javan rhino no longer exists outside of Ujung Kulon National Park, which was found throughout Southeast Asia. Habitat loss is also negatively impacting rhino species in many other ways.

Poaching of rhinos is another serious problem facing rhinos, along with habitat loss. Although rhino horn has been illegal since 1993, poaching of rhinos for their horns continues. Rhino horns are extremely profitable on the black market, and there are plenty of people who want them. This profit at stake is what makes illegal groups willing to invest time and money in poaching rhinos illegally.

What is being done to prevent the extinction of the rhino species?

A series of initiatives have saved the rhino population from extinction. Provide rhino sanctuaries as a measure to protect rhinos. During the rescue, wild rhinos were brought humanely to the reserve for protection. They are exactly the same as rhinos in their natural habitat. They have different types of protected areas, including deserts, savannahs, and woodlands. Protecting rhinos from poachers and habitat destruction can extend the lifespan of rhinos and prevent them from becoming extinct.
The government of the rhino habitat is also working to improve the laws that are being passed. Africa and other parts of the world are improving international and local laws to stop the trade and sale of rhino horn. Research on rhino poaching shows that a regulated trade in live rhinos could reduce poaching. In contrast, other organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund oppose legalizing the horn trade because it would increase demand.

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