Gunung Leuser National Park - Core of Sumatra's Tropical Rainforest Heritage

Sumatra island in Indonesia is home to some of the country's last great forest wilderness. Its core can be found within the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as the "Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra". This rainforest spans the Barisan Range of mountains and includes three major national parks: Bukit Barisan Selatan, Kerinci-Seblat and Gunung Leuser.

Established in 1980, Gunung Leuser National Park covers an area of 1,092,692 hectares within the two provinces of North Sumatra and Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam. Gunung Leuser lies mostly in the region of Aceh Tenggara (Southeast Aceh), encompassing smaller areas in the region of east Aceh, south Aceh, and Langkat (a part of North Sumatra), and more than 100 kilometers of the Bukit Barisan Mountains. As a result, the Park consists of steep, almost inaccessible mountainous terrain, with altitudes that range from 0 meters in Kluet (South Aceh), to 3,381 meters on top of the Gunung Leuser (Southeast Aceh), after which the Park is named. The Park encompasses a number of what were then much smaller nature reserves: Nature Reserve Gunung Leuser, Nature Reserve Kappi, Nature Reserve Kluet, Sikundur Langkat Wildlife Reserve, Ketambe Research Station, Singkil Barat and Dolok Sembilin. The Alas River runs through the Park, thus dividing the Park into an eastern and western half.

The National Park is particularly significant for conservation since it is the last place where orangutans, tigers, elephants, rhinoceros and leopards live together.
Details on Gunung Leuser National Park are available in the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity’s (ACB) "The ASEAN Heritage Parks", A Journey to the Natural Wonders of Southeast Asia, October 2010. Please contact ACB for access of this book.