Rhinos are one of the most iconic and recognizable animals in the world, known for their distinctive horns and massive size. Unfortunately, these magnificent creatures are facing a critical threat of extinction due to persistent poaching and habitat loss.
While there are currently five species of rhinos still surviving in the wild, there are also three extinct types of rhinos that are no longer with us. In this article, we will explore the three extinct types of rhinos, their characteristics, and the reasons for their extinction.
3 Extinct Types Of Rhinos
Indian Javan Rhino
The Javan Rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus) is one of the five remaining extant rhinoceros species across South Asia and Africa. It is the rarest living rhinoceros and one of the world’s most endangered mammals.
The Javan Rhino is a smaller and lighter relative of the greater one-horned rhino, with a height of 4.6–5.8 feet and a weight of 1,984 – 5,071 pounds. It has a single horn of up to about 10 inches, and its skin has a number of loose folds, giving the appearance of armor plating.
The Javan Rhino is very similar in appearance to the closely-related greater one-horned rhinoceros, but has a much smaller head and less apparent skin folds.
The Javan Rhino has the smallest horn of all five living species, with the average measuring less than a foot in length, and only the adult males sport them.
The Javan Rhino is usually solitary, except for females with small calves. The biggest threat to the Javan Rhino is the very small size of the remaining populations, which leads to inbreeding and loss of genetic variability and vitality.
The Javan Rhino is critically endangered, with only around 70 individuals that live only in Ujung Kulon National Park in Java, Indonesia.
Western Black Rhino
The Western Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis longipes) is an extinct subspecies of the black rhinoceros. It was once widespread in the savanna of sub-Saharan Africa, primarily in Cameroon.
The Western Black Rhino was officially declared extinct by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 2011. The Western Black Rhino was believed to have been genetically different from other rhino subspecies.
The biggest threat to the Western Black Rhino was poaching, which led to a decline in their numbers. Between 1960 and 1995, an astonishing 98 percent of black rhinos were killed by poachers, either to feed the new and voracious demand for Traditional Chinese Medicine or for their horns.
The Western Black Rhino was the first subspecies of rhino to be declared extinct in the wild in over 20 years. The extinction of the Western Black Rhino highlights the urgent need for conservation efforts to protect the remaining rhino species from a similar fate.
Northern White Rhino
The Northern White Rhino (Ceratotherium simum cottoni) is a subspecies of the white rhinoceros and is one of the two subspecies of the white rhino.
The Northern White Rhino was once found in several countries in East and Central Africa south of the Sahara, but now it is considered extinct in the wild.
As of March 2018, there are only two known rhinos of this subspecies left, both of which are female and live in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. The Northern White Rhino is a grazer in grasslands and savanna woodlands.
The Northern White Rhino is the largest subspecies of rhino, with a height of 5.6 feet and a weight of 3,080-7,920 pounds. The Northern White Rhino has a square upper lip with almost no hair, and its skin is gray and has a wrinkled appearance.
The Northern White Rhino is critically endangered, and the biggest threat to its survival is poaching for its horn. Conservation efforts are underway to save the Northern White Rhino from extinction, including in vitro fertilization and embryo transfer techniques.
1. What are the three extinct types of rhinos?
The three extinct types of rhinos are the Indian Javan Rhino, the Western Black Rhino, and the Northern White Rhino.
2. Why did the Indian Javan Rhino go extinct?
The Indian Javan Rhino was declared extinct in 1920 due to habitat loss and hunting.
3. What led to the extinction of the Western Black Rhino?
The Western Black Rhino was declared extinct in 2011 due to poaching and habitat loss.
4. How many Northern White Rhinos are left in the world?
As of March 2018, there are only two known Northern White Rhinos left in the world, both of which are female and live in the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya.
5. What is the biggest threat to the survival of rhinos?
The biggest threat to the survival of rhinos is poaching for their horns, which are highly valued in traditional medicine and as a status symbol.
6. How many rhino species are currently endangered?
Three species of rhino, including the black, Javan, and Sumatran rhinos, are classified as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species.
7. What can be done to protect rhinos from extinction?
Conservation efforts, such as anti-poaching measures and habitat protection, are crucial to protecting rhinos from extinction. In vitro fertilization and embryo transfer techniques are also being used to save the Northern White Rhino from extinction.