Greater One-Horned Rhino

(Rhinoceros unicornis)
IUCN RED LIST: Vulnerable

Thanks to strict protection by government authorities in India and Nepal, the greater one-horned, or Indian, rhino has rebounded from fewer than 100 individuals to more than 3,600 today. 

And, beginning in 2009, IRF and our Indian Rhino Vision 2020 partners worked together to establish a new Indian rhino population in Assam’s Manas National Park. Eighteen animals have been born in the park, and we’ve just recorded the second birth for 2019, which brings the population to 36 animals.

  • The greater one-horned rhino lives in northern India and southern Nepal, in riverine (floodplain) grasslands and adjacent woodland.
  • Greater one-horned rhinos are grazers. When not grazing on land, animals like to immerse themselves in water, where they also graze on aquatic plants.
  • Gestation lasts approximately 15 - 16 months, and mothers give birth to one calf every 2 - 3 years.
  • Greater one-horned rhinos are usually solitary except for females with young. Males maintain loosely-defended territories.
Current Greater One-Horned Rhino Numbers and Distribution

More than 3,600 in the wild.

CITES: Appendix I

Common Names

Greater one-horned rhinoceros: referring to the single large horn

Indian and/or Nepalese rhinoceros: referring to the species' range

Scientific Name and Origin

Rhinoceros unicornis

Rhinoceros: from the Greek “rhino”, meaning "nose" and “ceros”, meaning "horn" and “unicornis” from the Latin “uni”, meaning "one" and “cornis”, meaning "horn"

Physical Characteristics


  • Weight: 4,000-6,000 lbs (1,800 - 2,700 kg)
  • Height: 5.75 - 6.5 feet (1.75 - 2.0 m) tall at shoulder
  • Length: 10- 12.5 feet (3.0-3.8m) length of head and body


Greater one-horned rhinos have a single horn 8 to 24 inches (20 to 61 cm) long.

Other Features

Brownish-gray, hairless, with folds of skin that resemble plates of armor with rivets. The upper lip is semi-prehensile, for grasping branches and leaves.