X Close

UCL Culture Blog


News and musings from the UCL Culture team


A minute’s silence for the Vietnamese Javan rhino

By Emma-Louise Nicholls, on 25 October 2011

Skull of a Javan rhinoDear readers,

It is with a very heavy heart that I bring you the news that the second subspecies of Javan rhino, the Vietnamese Javan rhino, has been driven to extinction thanks to poachers. The third subspecies, the Indonesian Javan rhino, is now the last remaining representative of this entire species. The loss of the population in Vietnam is called a local extinction for the species and means that Vietnam has now lost all of its rhinos. A sad loss of heritage for the people.

The last individual was found dead, with a bullet hole in its leg and its horn removed.

Rhino horn is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. However, it is made of keratin, the same material as your finger nails and has been repeatedly scientifically proven to have no medicinal value whatsoever. The rhinos are dying for nothing.

Greater one-horned rhino. Closest relative of the Javan rhino.Nick Cox, the manager of WWF’s Species Programme in Vietnam said “The tragedy of the Vietnamese Javan rhinoceros is a sad symbol of this extinction crisis. The single most important action to conserve an endangered species is protecting their natural habitat and deterring poaching and illegal wildlife trade.” He went on to say that protected areas need more rangers, better training and monitoring, and more accountability for poachers.

There are around 50 Indonesian Javan rhinos left. The white rhino came back from less than 100 individuals to over 17,500, proving that it is not too late to save the Javan rhino. It can be done. Please help to highlight this issue by visiting the sites below and spreading the word.

Thank you.

Save the Rhino International

International Rhino Fund


4 Responses to “A minute’s silence for the Vietnamese Javan rhino”

  • 1
    Emma Louise Nicholls wrote on 26 October 2011:

    With the extinction of the second subspecies of Javan rhino announced yesterday- the rangers fiercely protecting the final subspecies are finalists for a $29,000 grant.

    It is decided by the public and voting closes on Friday.

    I sincerely urge you to take 1.5 minutes out of your day to vote:


    Thank you 🙂

  • 2
    Jo Paulson wrote on 28 October 2011:

    It’s very sad. It’s now more important than ever that we look after the one final remaining population of Javan Rhinos on a tiny peninsula of Java. It’s very difficult to monitor exactly how many Javan rhinos are left as this area is dense forest and very inhospitable to humans. We are now looking at creating a second protected habitat so more Javan rhinos can live in the area.

  • 3
    Emma-Louise Nicholls wrote on 2 November 2011:

    Jo Paulson is from Save the Rhino International.

    The Save the Rhino website is a great resource for learning more about the five remaining rhino species, and finding out how you can help to protect them.


  • 4
    Emma-Louise Nicholls wrote on 10 November 2011:

    The western black rhino was declared extinct by IUCN today. That is the second subspecies of rhino to be declared extinct in a single month.


    When will we, as a race, start taking the man-made, world-wide, environmental disaster seriously?


Leave a Reply