Distribution & Status

Distribution & Status

All five species of rhino are found only in parts of Africa and Asia. It is estimated that at the beginning of the 20th century, 500,000 rhinos roamed wild landscapes. Today, there are fewer than 26,000 left due to poaching and habitat loss.

A white rhino in Africa.

White and black rhinos are both found in African countries such as Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, Swaziland, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. There are about 16,000 white rhinos living today, and around 6,200 black rhinos.

With Javan rhinos located solely in Java, and Sumatran rhinos found only in Sumatra and Borneo, these Asian rhinos face graver numbers. It is estimated that each species has fewer than 100 individuals left in the wild - about 50 Sumatran rhinos and 78 Javan rhinos. The Sumatran rhino is one of the oldest living mammals on Earth. 

A greater one-horned rhino in Nepal.

Photo Credit: Kedar Bhusal

The greater one-horned rhino lives in India and Nepal, and their population currently numbers around 4,000 individuals. This is in large part thanks to government protections that have brought their numbers back up from under 200 in the last century. 

Today, the black rhino, the Javan rhino, and the Sumatran rhino are all classified as Critically Endangered by the IUCN Red List. Greater one-horned rhinos are listed as Vulnerable and white rhinos are listed as Near Threatened.