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  • Writer's pictureSumatraOrangutanDiscovery

Sumatran's Critically Endangered Wildlife

Updated: Aug 22, 2019

It is estimated that 17% of the worlds wildlife lives in Indonesia, despite their landmass being merely 1.3% of the world. The largest of the Indonesian islands, Sumatra, holds one of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet.

The equator crosses this fantastic island, giving rise to hot, humid weather. This weather, coupled with a large amount of rainfall provides the perfect conditions for lush vegitation and deep jungles.

However, this incredible island is home to a number of rare species. The palm oil industry causes devastation across Indonesia and Malaysia. It is estimated a football pitch of rainforest is destroyed every 25 seconds. Such destruction leads to habitat loss and sometimes the direct killing and capturing of wild animals.

There are many conservation groups working to protect and support local organisations in Sumatra. For example, WWF has successfuly provided government support to try and protect the habitat of the Sumatran elephants and tigers.

If you decide to come trekking in the Gunung Leuser National Park, we hope through sharing the knowledge of this unique paradise, raising awareness and providing finacial support to communities bordering the jungle we can all help to protect the rainforest.

Here are some of the endangered species of Sumatra:

Sumatran Tiger

Listed at critically endangered, this is one of the smallest of the Tigers. These tigers can be seen in the deep jungle of the Gungung Leuser National Park and in the regions around Aceh.

A fantastic video of the Sumatran Tiger can be seen here:

Sumatran Elephant

This is one of three kinds of Asian elephant. unfortunately over the last three generations there has been an 80% decline in their numbers, leading them to be classified as critically endangered. Habitat loss is though to have been the biggest factor in their decline, with the rise in use of Palm Oil. However, poaching and hunting also provide a big threat.

Sumatran Rhinoceros

Also known as 'the hairy rhino', this is the smallese of the rhino family. Once, these creatures would have been located all across Asia, however now they only remain in Sumatra and Borneo. Due to the shy nature of the rhino, it is hard for researchers to identify the population, while some believe there could be around 100 left, others suggest it could be much less.

Sumatran Orangutan.

'Orang Utan' in Indonesian means “person of the forest". These incredible arboreal ape shares 96.4% DNA with humans. While previously orangutans would have been found all over Sumatra and even in Java, now they are soley located in North Sumatra. The jungle surrounding Bukit Lawang is home to a number of semi-wild orangutans due to the success of the rehabilitation programme started in the 1970's.

Sumatran orangutans are critically endangered due to habitat loss and hunting. It is devastating to learn that a plan is in action to build a major road in northern Sumatra. Will will only add further habitat loss and create access for poachers and illegal loggers.

If you wish to know more about how you can protect the Sumatran orangutan, please look at this website.

Above are only a few of the many endangered species listed in Sumatra. We hope you can share this information and help support projects to protect the forest and reduce the production of Palm Oil.

Below are links to a number of organisations protecting the rainforest and animals.

Thank you for your time

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