Sumatran rhinos were listed as critically endangered in 1996 by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
How Many Sumatran Rhinos Are Left?
According to a 2022 report, there are 34 to 47 Sumatran rhinos left, representing a yearly population decline of 13 percent from 2017 to 2021.
Threats to Sumatran Rhinos
Like other endangered and rare animals, Sumatran rhinos face several threats, including habitat loss, poaching and risks inherent to such a small population size.
Rhino Protection Units (RPUs) are empowered by the Indonesian government to prevent poaching for rhino horns in Sumatra. No Sumatran rhino carcasses have been found since 2006, which may be due in part to the fact that sighting Sumatran rhinos — dead or a live — is challenging in their dense tropical forest habitat.
Sumatran rhinos are generally solitary creatures with a large range. Replacement of their rainforest habitat with coffee, rice and oil palm plantations by illegal settlers reduces means Sumatran rhinos are losing critical forest cover.
In 2018, Indonesia formed the Sumatran Rhino Rescue initiative, which aims to identify and relocate wild Sumatran rhinos and increase captive breeding. Captive breeding has been moderately successful. In 2023, two sumatran rhino calfs were born at the Sumatran Rhino Sanctuary in Way Kambas National Park.