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The Sumatran Rhino is disappearing

Time is running short to save this species from extinction

Thousands of Sumatran rhinos once roamed throughout Southeast Asia. But in the past decade, their numbers have dwindled to fewer than 80. If we don’t act now, we could lose this species forever.

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The Problem

Decades of poaching and habitat loss have cut the number of Sumatran rhinos to just 80, who cling to survival in remote populations on two Indonesian islands. Their biggest threat now is isolation, and the odds of adult rhinos finding compatible mates in the wild are dwindling.

 

Help Protect Sumatran Rhinos

Our critical work to save Sumatran rhinos is made possible by support from donors like you. With your help, we're working to save these and other threatened species — and the habitats they need to survive. Together, we can secure a future for Sumatran rhinos and threatened species all over the world.

Donate Today


 


vanishing populations

Divided by land and sea, 10 subpopulations of Sumatran rhinos scattered across Indonesia are the species’ last hope for survival.

Sumatran rhino

(Dicerorhinus sumatrensis)

Height:

3.3–5 feet

Weight:

1,320–2,090 pounds

RHINOCEROS COLLAPSE

The number of Sumatran rhinos has dropped

an estimated 70 percent in the past two

decades, mostly due to poaching. Fewer than

a hundred remain in Indonesia, in isolated

pockets. Sumatran rhinos are solitary creatures.

They’re small compared with other rhino

species, and females give birth about every

three to five years.

asia

pacific

Ocean

Historic range

pacific

Ocean

Indonesia

aus.

Low Birth Rate

Small populations mean the Sumatran rhino’s

potential to reproduce is diminished, putting it

at a higher risk for extinction.

Out of Sight

Sumatran rhinos live in remote areas, so

sightings are rare and population figures are

often disputed. Camera traps are the primary

source of documentation.

A Species in Jeopardy

Isolation is the biggest threat to

Sumatran rhinos. In 2015 they were

declared extinct in the wild in Malaysia.

SUMATRA

Less than 75 rhinos

10 subpopulations or clusters

Thailand

Singapore

Wild rhino population

Park or reserve

Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary

In captivity

7 (3 males, 4 females)

3

LEUSER ECOSYSTEM

Less than 50 rhinos

6 subpopulations

1

BUKIT BARISAN

SELATAN N.P.

Less than 5 rhinos

2 subpopulations

WAY KAMBAS N.P.

Less than 20 rhinos

2 subpopulations

Tabin Wildlife Reserve

In captivity

2 (1 male, 1 female, not reproductively viable)

Wild rhino population

Brunei

Park or reserve

Celebes

Sea

Java Sea

INDONESIAN BORNEO

Less than 10 rhinos

Rhinos have been seen in the Kutai Barat and Mahakam Ulu Regencies, with other rumored sightings by locals.

Lauren E. James, Clare Trainor, NGM Staff

Art: Joe McKendry

Sources: Global forest watch; Protected

planet; Global wildlife Conservation;

International Rhino Foundation; World

wildlife Fund; IUCN Species Survival Commission

The Leuser Ecosystem

Out of Sight

Gulf of

Thailand

Sumatran rhinos live in remote areas, so sightings are rare and population figures are often disputed. Camera traps are the primary source of documentation.

This mountainous tropical rain forest is home to several small, scattered populations of Sumatran rhinos.

Tabin Wildlife Reserve

In captivity

2 (1 male, 1 female, not reproductively viable)

Royal Belum

State Park

Brunei

Bandar Seri Begawan

Gunung Leuser N.P.

Taman Negara N.P.

Danum Valley Conservation Area

LEUSER

ECOSYSTEM

Less than 50 rhinos

6 subpopulations

Kuala Lumpur

Lake

Toba

Celebes Sea

Singapore

SUMATRA

 

Less than 75 rhinos

10 subpopulations

or clusters

WAY KAMBAS N.P.

Less than 20 rhinos

2 subpopulations

Kerinci Seblat N.P.

Last record of

wild rhino: 2004

asia

Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary

Historic range

Low Birth Rate

In captivity

7 (3 males,4 females)

pacific

Ocean

pacific

Ocean

BUKIT BARISAN

SELATAN N.P.

Less than 5 rhinos

2 subpopulations

Small populations mean the Sumatran rhino’s potential to reproduce is diminished, putting it at a higher risk for extinction.

Java Sea

Indonesia

Jakarta

aus.

RHINOCEROS COLLAPSE

A Species in Jeopardy

Height:

3.3–5 feet

Isolation is the biggest threat to

Sumatran rhinos. In 2015 they were

declared extinct in the wild in Malaysia.

The number of Sumatran rhinos has dropped an estimated 70 percent in the past two decades, mostly due to poaching. Fewer than a hundred remain in Indonesia, in isolated pockets. Sumatran rhinos are solitary creatures. They’re small compared with other rhino species, and females give birth about every three to five years.

Sumatran rhino

Wild rhino population

(Dicerorhinus sumatrensis)

Last observed wild rhino location

Park or reserve

Weight:

1,320–2,090 pounds

Lauren E. James, Clare Trainor, NGM Staff. Art: Joe McKendry

Sources: Global forest watch; Protected planet; Global wildlife Conservation; International Rhino Foundation; World wildlife Fund; IUCN Species Survival Commission

How We're Helping

In 2018, an alliance of conservation organizations, including the National Geographic Society, joined together to support the government of Indonesia’s national Sumatran rhino conservation breeding effort. This rescue effort will relocate rhinos and build facilities for their care and breeding in order to bring the species back from the brink of extinction.

Build CapAcity

Establish two new Sumatran rhino sanctuaries in Indonesia, one in Indonesian Borneo and the other in northern Sumatra, and expand the existing facility in Way Kambas National Park.

Search and Rescue

Find as many rhinos as possible living in small, isolated populations in Indonesia and relocate them to managed conservation breeding facilities nearby.

Protect and Breed

Incorporate the rhinos into a single conservation breeding program that uses state-of-the-art veterinary and husbandry care to maximize population growth.

You Can Help Save the Rhinos

Together, we can secure a future for Sumatran rhinos and threatened species all over the world.

The Sumatran rhino is a species in crisis. Managed breeding and intensive protection will be critical if we are to save this species.

Jane Goodall PhD, DBE
Founder, the Jane Goodall Institute, & UN Messenger of Peace


Sumatran Rhino Rescue Partners

https://www.globalwildlife.org/our-work/regions/asia/hope-for-the-singing-sumatran-rhino/https://rhinos.org/sumatranrhinorescue/https://www.iucn.org/theme/species/about/species-survival-commissionhttp://wwf.panda.org/our_work/

Photographs by: Joel Sartore, National geographic (TOP); colby bishop, NGS (Build Capacity); Terry Whittaker, Alamy (search and rescue); Courtesy Barney Long, Global Wildlife Conservation (protect and breed); Joel Sartore, National Geographic Photo Ark (above)