Rhinos of the World:
A summary of types and populations


There are five species of rhinoceros, all of which are found in either Africa or Asia.

Asia

Indian or Greater One-horned Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis)
Found in India and Nepal. Conservation efforts have raised the wild population from as few as 200 to about 3,000, but now under increasing threat from poachers.

Sumatran Rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis)
Subspecies:
Dicerorhinus sumatrensis harrisoni — Bornean Rhino. Only about 50 animals thought to survive on the island of Borneo.
Dicerorhinus sumatrensis sumatrensis — Western Sumatran Rhino. About 200 animals are thought to survive on the island of Sumatra, with perhaps another 75 in peninsular Malaysia.
Dicerorhinus sumatrensis lasiotis — Northern Sumatran Rhino. Probably EXTINCT. Historically occurred in India and Bangladesh, where the last reliable sightings were in the 1960s. There is an extremely small chance that a tiny population survives in northern Burma, but conflict and political difficulties have prevented a thorough survey.

Javan or Lesser One-horned Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros sondaicus)
Subspecies:
Rhinoceros sondaicus annamiticus — Vietnamese Rhinoceros. EXTINCT. Once widespread across southeast Asia, this type was considered extinct until a tiny population was found in the late 1980s in a forest in Vietnam that had been heavily bombed in the Vietnam War. Despite the area being declared a national park, the last known individual was shot by a poacher in 2010.
Rhinoceros sondaicus sondaicus — Javan Rhinoceros. Once found on Sumatra and Java, now only about 40 animals remain in Ujung Kulon National Park in western Java.
Rhinoceros sondaicus inermis — Indian Javan Rhinoceros. EXTINCT. Once found from eastern India to Burma, this type is thought to have gone extinct before 1925.

Africa

Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis)
Subspecies:
Diceros bicornis bicornis — South-western Black Rhino. Found in more arid areas of southern Africa.
Diceros bicornis longipes — Western Black Rhino. EXTINCT. Last-known population, in northern Cameroon, was wiped out by poachers between 2003 and 2006.
Diceros bicornis michaeli — Eastern Black Rhino. Occurs in east Africa, with a small, artificially-established 'insurance' population in South Africa.
Diceros bicornis minor — South-central Black Rhino. Most numerous of the Black Rhino subspecies. Occurs in southern Africa.

White Rhinoceros
Note: Some authorities consider Southern White and Northern White Rhino to be subspecies of the same species, Ceratotherium simum. Others, citing a recent genetic study and morphological differences which indicate that the two forms have been separated for about a million years, treat Northern White Rhino as a separate species, Ceratotherium cottoni.

Southern White or White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum)
By far the most numerous rhino type in the world, with a population of over 18,000. It was thought to be extinct in the late 1800s, but a tiny population of under 100 animals was rediscovered in the Zululand region of South Africa. After decades of intensive conservation work, it has now been reintroduced to parks and reserves in South Africa and neighboring countries.

Northern White or Nile Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium cottoni)
Once thought to have a population of over 2,000 animals centered on wet, low-lying regions of South Sudan, northern Uganda and northeastern Congo, this type is on the brink of extinction. The last known wild population, in Garamba National Park in the Congo, was poached out of existence in about 2007, and only seven individuals remain in captivity: One in the Czech Republic, two in the USA and four in Kenya.

— Adam Welz

Go back to the article, “The Dirty War Against Africa’s Remaining Rhinos”



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