Sumatran Rhino

(Dicerorhinus sumatrensis)
IUCN RED LIST: Critically Endangered

Fewer than 80 Sumatran rhinos survive in very small and highly fragmented populations.

The Sumatran rhino is the most endangered of all rhinoceros species due to its rapid rate of decline. Because of poaching, numbers have decreased more than 70% over the last 20 years, with the only viable populations now in Indonesia. The species was declared extinct in the wild on mainland Malaysia in 2015 and Malaysian Borneo in 2019. Sumatran rhinos exist only in protected areas where they are physically guarded by Rhino Protection Units (southern Sumatra) and Wildlife Protection Units (northern Sumatra). Continued protection, combined with consolidating small, fragmented populations into larger ones, and intensifying captive breeding efforts, are the best hope for the species’ survival.

  • The Sumatran rhino lives in dense tropical forest, both lowland and highland, mainly on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.
  • This species is a browser and an opportunistic feeder with a very varied diet that may include more than 100 plant species.
  • Sumatran rhinos live between 35 and 40 years. Gestation lasts approximately 15-16 months, and cows are believed to give birth to one calf about every 3 years.
  • These tropical forest dwellers are generally solitary in nature.
Current Sumatran Rhino Numbers and Distribution

Fewer than 80 Sumatran rhinos survive in fragmented populations in Indonesia’s Bukit Barisan, Gunung Leuser, and Way Kambas National Parks, and a small population was recently found in central Kalimantan.

CITES: Appendix I

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Common Names

Sumatran Rhinoceros

Asian Two-Horned Rhinoceros: the only two-horned rhino in the Asian region.

Scientific Name and Origin

Dicerorhinus sumatrensis

"Dicerorhinus": from the Greek di, meaning "two" and “ceros”, meaning "horn" and “rhinos”, meaning "nose" and “sumatrensis” referring to Sumatra (with the Latin-ensis, meaning locality)

Physical Characteristics


  • Weight: 1,300 - 2,000 pounds (600 - 950 kg)
  • Height: 3 - 5 feet (1.0 -1.5m) tall at shoulder
  • Length: 6.5 - 9.5 feet (2.0 - 3.0m) length of body


Sumatran rhinos have two horns. The front horn is larger and measures 10 - 31 inches (25-79 cm) long. The second horn is smaller, generally less than 3 inches (10 cm).

Other Features

Fringed ears and reddish-brown skin, variably covered with long hair.