The Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra site was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2004. It comprises three Indonesian national parks on the island of Sumatra: Gunung Leuser National Park, Kerinci Seblat National Park and the Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park. The site is listed under Criteria vii - outstanding scenic beauty; ix- an outstanding example representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes; and x- contains the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation.
Location and Size
The Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra consist of three national parks: Gunung Leuser National Park (GLNP) (8629.75 km²), Kerinci Seblat National Park (KSNP) (13,753.5 km²) and Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park (BBSNP) (3568 km²). The total area of the rainforest is 25,000 km². The Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra was chosen because, first, it represents significant area of forests on the island of Sumatra, because of the biodiversity, of lowland and mountain forest. This once vast island of tropical rainforest has been condensed to secluded areas, in the space of 50 years.
Lastly, all three national parks have a very varied habitat and have outstanding biodiversity. Altogether the three sites make up 50% of the total plant variety, in Sumatra. At least 92 local common species have been recognized in GLNP. The nomination contains populations of both the world’s largest flower (Rafflesia arnoldi) and the tallest flower (Amorphophallus titanum).The Tropical Rainforest of Sumatra has just recently become a part of the World Heritage List, in 2004.
Geography and Climate
Gunung Leuser National Park in the north of the island is 150 km long, over 100 km wide and is mostly mountainous. 40% of the park is steep, and over 1,500 m. 12% of the Park only, in the lower southern half, is below 600 meters but for 25 km runs down the coast. Eleven peaks are over 2,700 m and the highest point is Gunung Leuser reaching 3,466 metres. The area surrounding Gunung Leuser is known as the Leuser Ecosystem.
Kerinci Seblat National Park in the centre extends 350 km down the back of the Bukit Barisan, averaging 45 km width and 2000 m above sea level. The northern half has a lower eastern mountain range, between 800–1500 m. Three quarters of the park is steep. The highest point, and highest volcano in Indonesia, is the Mount Kerinci, standing at 3,805 m.
Flora and Fauna
GLNP is a part of the 18 Indonesian regions classified by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) among the 200 global ecoregions of importance for preservation of the world’s biodiversity. 174 mammals, 3 being endemic and 21 listed as threatened in 2000. Little is known about the smaller mammals. 380 species of birds are listed, 13 being endemic and 52 threatened. Some of the important species: the orangutan, Sumatran rhinoceros, and the pigtailed monkey. Important plants are: Rafflesia arnoldi, and Amorphophallus titanum. Several important bird species: Rueck's Blue-flycatcher, and White-winged Wood Duck.