Rewilding Rhinos for a Healthy Planet

There are five species of rhinos that live in Africa and Asia: the White Rhino, Black Rhino, Greater One-horned (or Indian) Rhino, Sumatran Rhino and Javan (or Lesser One-horned) Rhino. Though they are spread out across two continents, all rhinos face similar threats: poaching and habitat destruction.

Re:wild, with government and local partners, is focused most heavily on saving and protecting the two species native to Indonesia: the Sumatran Rhino and Javan Rhino. Both species are depending on intensive conservation efforts for their survival. There are fewer than 80 Sumatran Rhinos in Sumatra and Borneo, and approximately 74 Javan Rhinos.


A Javan Rhino in Ujung Kulon National Park. (Robin Moore/Re:wild)

There are only 74 Javan Rhinos left on the planet, all living in just one site: Indonesia’s Ujung Kulon National Park. They are threatened by poaching, disease, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis. Re:wild—along with our partners, led by the Government of Indonesia—have a plan to increase the population to at least 80 individuals in at least two sites by 2025.


A Sumatran Rhino. (Photo courtesy of Re:wild senior associate Bill Konstant)

With fewer than 80 Sumatran Rhinos left in the world, restoring their population is of utmost importance to securing a future for this species. Re:wild is a part of the Sumatran Rhino Survival Alliance, a groundbreaking partnership working under the strategic direction of the government of Indonesia focusing on relocating rhinos to establish a national conservation breeding program. Re:wild is also supporting government and partner efforts to save the last two wild populations of breeding Sumatran Rhinos.

Top photo: A Sumatran Rhino, one of two rhino species found in Indonesia. (Barney Long/Re:wild)


Wild Facts

  • All Javan Rhinos live in a single site on the island of Java.

  • Two Javan Rhino calves were born in 2020.

  • Sumatran Rhinos are the closest living relatives of the now extinct Woolly Rhinos.

  • In 2018, the government of Indonesia and Sumatran Rhino Survival Alliance successfully relocated an isolated female Sumatran Rhino to a Breeding facility in Kalimantan.

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There is no one-size-fits-all solution to the interrelated crises of wildlife extinctions, climate change and pandemics. Re:wild works with local and Indigenous communities, conservation partners, governments and others to solve some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. Our rhino conservation approaches include any combination of the following solutions:

protected area management

Improving the way protected and conserved areas are managed—involving communities, Indigenous peoples, sociology, economics, business management, and wildlife crime prevention—to ensure a safer future for biodiversity and local communities.

Wildlife crime prevention

Developing community-led and owned prevention strategies that take into account the societal and cultural drivers of wildlife crime, and implementing systems and technology to stop poachers before a crime is even committed.

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conservation breeding, translocations and reintroductions

Creating insurance populations to prevent extinction and active management of wildlife populations to help restore them to healthy and self-sustainable numbers across their natural range.

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action funds

Collaborating on increasing the availability of conservation resources and grantmaking to support partners and guardians across the world in implementing the most transformative nature-based solutions.

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