The Indian Rhino once roamed throughout the northern parts of the Indian subcontinent, following the courses of the great rivers of the region: the Indus, the Ganges and the Brahmaputra. Its range would have extended from Pakistan in the west to the Indian-Myanmar border in the east, including parts of Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan and possibly even into Myanmar. Its range might have extended even further eastwards into southern China and Indochina.
By the beginning of the 20th century the Indian Rhino was all but extinct throughout its historical range – only about 100-200 are thought to have remained in the wild. The current Indian Rhino population totals more than 3,500 individuals in the wild in India and Nepal.
While this is undoubtedly only a small fraction of the number that once would have roamed the region, it represents a very significant conservation success story.
This representation of the historical distribution of the Indian Rhino is derived from the Status Survey & Conservation Action Plan (New Edition) Asian Rhinos edited by Thomas J Foose and Nico van Strien, published by the IUCN/SSC Asian Rhino Specialist Group (AsRSG).
Approximate location of current populations