Javan rhinos: is the Indonesian government lying? misleading? or being straight with the world.

It appears that the counters of the Javan rhino, have continued to count animals which have not been seen for years. Given how much poaching has been going on, this seems much more than simply misleading.

Play Video

 Unfortunately, this counting issue, takes the Javan rhino from a species which is recovering at an impressive rate, to a species which might disappear within a decade. In the latest count 3 rhino were included, which are known to have died back in 2019.

According to the official numbers, in 2011, when the cameras were installed there were 35 rhino, and that number has climbed steadily to a current number of roughly 72.


The Indonesian non-profit NGO Auriga Nusantara, has counted 18 rhino (evenly split male and female) that have not been seen since at least 2019. In fact, of these 18 animals that have continued to be added to the survey results, 1 female was known to have died in 2019, and one of each gender was known to have died in 2021.

Certainly, it is quite unacceptable to publicize every birth, but cover up every death.

It is also quite a ridiculous thing to suggest that while some members of a population appear regularly on the camera, as many as 18 individuals have totally avoided every camera in existence.

If there are, in fact, 54 Javan rhino rather than the 72 that was claimed, that is still a 50% growth in the population, in just 13 years. To put that in perspective, growth like that sustained for a century, would give us a population of 760 rhino by the end of the century. However, to sustain this species good wild population for that long requires honesty, and teamwork (in particular, allowing teams working in similar ways in Sumatra to have accurate numbers so that favourable methods can be shared.

It should also be noted, that the Javan and the Sumatran rhino are not closely related. in fact, while the Sumatran rhinos closest relative is the now-extinct woolly rhino, the Javan rhino’s closest relative is the greater one horned rhino, otherwise known as the Indian rhino.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

See Animals Wild