In-Brief: About Asian Rhinos

News Summary

  • Five Asian Rhino–range countries have signed the New Delhi Declaration on protection and conservation of Asian Rhino population:
    • India
    • Nepal
    • Bhutan
    • Indonesia
    • Malaysia
  • Three types of Asian Rhinos include
  1. Greater one-horned Rhino in India, Nepal and Bhutan
  2. Javan Rhino
  3. Sumatran Rhino


New Delhi Declaration: Rhino Conservation Strategy

  • Trans-boundary collaboration between India, Nepal and Myanmar for Greater one-horned Rhino conservation in line with India’s National Rhino Conservation Strategy.
  • Landscape-level conservation by connecting Sukla-Phanta (Nepal) and Valmiki tiger reserve (India) and Chitwan National Park (Nepal) and Dudhwa (India) to manage under the same protocol.
  • Review of population of 3 Asian rhino species every four years.
  • Strengthening the protection regimes with technology-based wildlife forensics.
  • Real-time sharing of intelligence on rhino crime and its horn trade.
  • Expansion of rhino habitat within and between rhino range countries for optimal population management.
  • Connecting the rhino-corridors across international boundaries.


In-Brief: About Asian Rhinos

Greater one-horned Rhino (Indian Rhino)

  • It is the largest of the rhino species.
  • It has been accorded with ‘Vulnerable Status’ in the IUCN Red List.
  • Indian Rhino is an amphibious species and an excellent swimmer.
  • It is a herbivorous animal feeding on grasses, leaves, branches, fruit, and aquatic plants.


  • Indian Rhino is a herbivorous species found in Tropical and Subtropical Grasslands, Savannas, and Shrublands.
  • Indian Rhino population is restricted to Indo-Nepal terai region, northern West Bengal and Assam.
  • The main sanctuaries of Indian Rhino are:
    • Assam
    • Kaziranga National Park (70% of world’s population)
    • Pobitara Wildlife sanctuary
    • Orang National Park,
    • Manas National Park Assam
  • West Bengal
    • Jaldapara National Park
    • Garumara National Park
  • Uttar Pradesh
    • Dudhwa Tiger Reserve
  • Nepal
    • Royal Chitwan National Park
    • Sukla-Phanta



  • Poaching due to demand in international trade for horn.
  • Habitat destruction due to land-use change.
  • Concentration of rhino population in one protected area, viz
  • Political boundaries constricting natural boundary.
  • Other threats including diseases and natural disaster.


Conservation Efforts

  • Indian Rhino Vision 2020 was launched in 2005 aimed at increasing the rhino population to 3000 by 2020.
  • Translocation of species from Kaziranga to Manas.
  • Training in new patrolling methods.
  • Recently India launched the National Rhino Conservation Strategy 2019 calling for active engagement between India and Nepal.
  • Now the Delhi Declaration for Asian Rhino conservation and protection


Sumatran and Javan Rhino

  • Sumatran and Javan Rhinos have been accorded the ‘Critically Endangered’ Status under IUCN Red List.
  • Javan Rhino are only about 60 in number concentrated in Unjung Kulon National Park near Jakarta in Javan island of Indonesia.
    • Earlier they were found in Cat Tien National Park in Vietnam where it is extinct now.
  • Sumatran Rhino are the smallest among Asian Rhinos.
    • There are about 300 of this species left in Indonesia and Malaysia where it is extinct in the wild.
    • They are only Asian Rhino species with 2 horns.


Section : Environment & Ecology