Indian rhinoceros

About 65% of the population is confined to Kaziranga NP in Assam, northeastern India; 17% to Chitwan NP in central Nepal

carstenbrandt

Indian rhinos live among the tall grasses of swampy areas.

They have a thick, grey-brown segmented hide that looks like body armor with pinkish skin folds to allow the hide to shift when they move. They also have a horn above their snout made up of keratin. The horn can generally extend up to 25 cm (10 in), but the longest recorded is 36 cm (14 in).

Once inhabited the whole of northern India, by the start of the 20th century, their population had dived down to the brink of extinction due to hunting for sport and being killed as agricultural pests. At that time, only around 200 individuals were left. However, their current population has bounced back thanks to strict management and protection.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Bangladesh
Official estimate
EX
Last sighted 19th century
Bhutan
Official estimate
EX
Extinct 20th century
India
4,014
Official estimate
VU
2022
Nepal
752
Official estimate
EN
2021
21% increase
Pakistan
Official estimate
EX
Extinct 1900s

Recent updates

Feb 2023: The Kaziranga National Park in Assam, one of the few regions that harbor rhinoceroses, saw zero poaching incidents in 2022. To achieve this, the state government approached international organizations like World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) and International Rhino Foundation (IRF) to prevent such cases and increase population through translocation in Assam.

Did you know?

  • Their natural predators are only the tigers.
  • Despite the armour plate, their skin is tender and bleed easily.

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No

Indian rhino on banknotes

Nepal 100 Rupees (1990-1995)

India 10 Rupees (2013)