About Greater One Horned Rhino | WWF India

About Greater One Horned Rhino

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Indian rhinoceros
© Dipankar Ghose/WWF-India

Key Facts

  • Common Name

    Indian Rhinoceros

  • Scientific Name

    Rhinoceros unicornis

  • Geographic habitat

    Indo- Nepal terai and Northern West Bengal, and Assam

  • Height

    1.70 m (5.7 feet)

  • Length

    3.50 m (11.7 feet)

  • Weight

    1800 to 2800 kg

  • Population

    ~3500 in India and Nepal combined

  • Status

    Vulnerable

  • Did you know?

    The rhino is the fourth largest land animal

Habitat and distribution

The preferred habitat of an Indian rhinoceros is alluvial flood plains and areas containing tall grasslands along the foothills of the Himalayas. Formerly, extensively distributed in the Gangetic plains, today the species is restricted to small habitats in Indo-Nepal terai and northern West Bengal and Assam. In India, rhinos are mainly found in Kaziranga NP, Pobitara WLS, Orang NP, Manas NP in Assam, Jaldapara NP and Garumara NP in West Bengal and Dudhwa TR in Uttar Pradesh.

Characteristics

The Indian rhino has a single horn, which is present in both sexes. It is the largest of all the Asian rhinos. Considered to be the most amphibious of all the rhino species, the Indian rhino is an excellent swimmer. It can run at speeds of up to 55km/hr for short periods of time. Though it has an excellent sense of hearing and smell, its eyesight is relatively poor. The average height is about 170cm, a girth of 335cm. While a fully grown male rhino weighs around 1800 to 2800 kg, a female weighs around 1,600kg. The animal is solitary as a rule, though several may occupy the same patch of forest or water hole. Breeding takes place at all times of the year. The period of gestation is about 16 months and the young at birth in length is around 105 cm and weighs up to 60kg. The female attains sexual maturity in five years and the male between seven and 10 years old.
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