Most endangered mammal in the world!!!
Rhinoceros sondaicus - Javan Rhinoceros, Sunda Rhinoceros, Lesser One-horned Rhinoceros.
Population: Fewer than 50, only one known location in the wild, Ujung Kulon NP in Indonesia.
The Vietnamese Javan Rhino officially declared EXTINCT in 2010
Dicerorhinus sumatrensis - Sumatran Rhinoceros
Population: Fewer than 200. Critically endangered.
Ceratherium sinum cottoni - Northern White Rhinoceros, Northern Square-lipped Rhinoceros, with an Einiosaurus-like horn.
Population: 7 Individuals
Now only 3 remain
Now only 3 remain
Rhinoceros unicornis - Indian Rhinoceros, Greater One-horned Rhinoceros
Diceros bicornis - Black Rhinoceros
Ceratherium sinum sinum - Southern White Rhinoceros, Southern Square-lipped Rhinoceros
These rhinoceros illustrations were conceived at a time when I wanted to take a break from drawing elephants. It wasn't so much that the elephant project was burdensome. I just noticed that my lines were becoming sloppy. I love elephants and I felt I was not doing them justice. I decided to read a book, Hidden Worlds of Wildife, by National Geographic where I saw a photograph of a black rhinoceros. I thought it looked very fierce and cool. I was not well informed about the rhino. I decided to read and read...
What I discovered was heart rending. Where once the rhinoceros roamed the jungles, rain forests and savannahs of Africa and Asia, their numbers are dwindling due to illegal poaching for the insatiable desire for their horns erroneously believed to be of medicinal value in traditional Chinese medicine. With the development of the Chinese economy and the upsurge of Chinese middle class, the demand for rhino horns has increased. According to SavingRhino.org, "China was working to circumvent the international trade ban on rhino horn by exploiting a CITES loophole. The country had imported over 100 live rhinos from South Africa since 2000, for the purpose of "farming" rhinos and encouraging the "medicinal use" of rhino horns."
It is a myth that the rhino horn can cure among other diseases, cancer. It does not! The horn is made of keratin, the same material found in hair and fingernails. Rhino horn is not medicine.
In 2011, the Vietnamese Javan rhino officially became extinct when the last of the rhinos was murdered by poachers in Vietnam. Today the Javan rhinoceros, Rhinoceros sondaicus, is the most endagered mammal in the world with fewer than 50 individuals, in Indonesia. Closer in proximity are the Sumatran rhinos, Dicerorhinus sumatrensis, critically endangered and remaining fewer than 200. Also the Indian rhino, Rhinoceros unicornis, endangered and continues to be victims of illegal poaching. The close proximity of these animals to China make them vulnerable to poaching.
I am not much of an activist. In fact, when I believe in a cause, I tend to be calm about it, study it, learn more about it, share information with a few close friends, educate my children and then quietly contribute money or volunteer my time. There are only five extant rhinoceros species remaining in the world, and as such, this rhinoceros illustration project is done. However, as for helping save the rhino, I am NOT done...please join me. I am investigating ways I can make these illustrations serve a purpose. In the meantime, you may want to check out these organizations and donate directly to them: