Readers’ Blog

Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra

Viewed 2051 times 2014-3-17 05:28 |Personal category:World Heritage|System category:Others

The 2.5 million hectare Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra site comprises three national parks: Gunung Leuser National Park, Kerinci Seblat National Park and Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park. The site holds the greatest potential for long-term conservation of the distinctive and diverse biota of Sumatra, including many endangered species. The protected area is home to an estimated 10,000 plant species, including 17 endemic genera; more than 200 mammal species; and some 580 bird species of which 465 are resident and 21 are endemic. Of the mammal species, 22 are Asian, not found elsewhere in the archipelago and 15 are confined to the Indonesian region, including the endemic Sumatran orang-utan. The site also provides biogeographic evidence of the evolution of the island.

The Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra (TRHS), Indonesia comprises three widely separated National Parks; Gunung Leuser (GLNP), Kerinci Seblat (KSNP) and Bukit Barisan Selatan (BBSNP), and covers a total area of 2,595,124hectares, constituting one of the biggest conservation areas in Southeast Asia. The site is located on Bukit Barisan range and holds the greatest potential for long-term conservation of the diverse biota of Sumatra, including many endangered species.

 

The biodiversity of the property is exceptional in terms of both species numbers and uniqueness. There are an estimated 10,000 species of plants, including 17 endemic genera. Animal diversity in TRHS is also impressive, with 201 mammal species and some 580 species of birds, of which 465 are resident and 21 are endemics. Of the mammal species, 22 are endemic to the Sundaland hotspot and 15 are confined to the Indonesian region, including the endemic Sumatran orang-utan. Key mammal species also include the Sumatran tiger, rhino, elephant and Malayan sun-bear.

 

The TRHS includes the highest volcano in Indonesia, Gunung Kerinci (3,805 m asl) along with many other physical features of exceptional natural beauty, including; Lake Gunung Tujuh the highest lake in Southeast Asia, numerous other volcanic and glacial high-altitude lakes, fumaroles, waterfalls, cave systems and steep rocky backdrops. Both Gunung Leuser National Park and Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park contain frontages to the Indian Ocean, making the altitudinal range of the TRHS extend from the highest mountains on Sumatra to sea level. All three protected areas in the TRHS exhibit wide altitudinal zonation of vegetation, from lowland rainforest to montane forest, extending to sub-alpine low forest, scrub and shrub thickets and covering an astounding diversity of ecosystems.

 

 The parks that comprise the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra are all located on the prominent main spine of the Bukit Barisan Mountains, known as the ‘Andes of Sumatra’. Outstanding scenic landscapes abound at all scales. The mountains of each site present prominent mountainous backdrops to the settled and developed lowlands of Sumatra. The combination of the spectacularly beautiful Lake Gunung Tujuh (the highest lake in southeast Asia), the magnificence of the giant Mount Kerinci volcano, numerous small volcanic, coastal and glacial lakes in natural forested settings, fumaroles belching smoke from forested mountains and numerous waterfalls and cave systems in lush rainforest settings, emphasise the outstanding beauty of the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra.

The Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra represent the most important blocks of forest on the island of Sumatra for the conservation of the biodiversity of both lowland and mountain forests. This once vast island of tropical rainforest, in the space of only 50 years, has been reduced to isolated remnants including those centered on the three components of the property. The Leuser Ecosystem, including the Gunung Leuser National Park, is by far the largest and most significant forest remnant remaining in Sumatra. All three parks would undoubtedly have been important climatic refuge for species over evolutionary time and have now become critically important refuge for future evolutionary processes.

 

All three parks that comprise the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra are areas of very diverse habitat and exceptional biodiversity. Collectively, the three sites include more than 50% of the total plant diversity of Sumatra. At least 92 local endemic species have been identified in Gunung Leuser National Park. The property contains populations of both the world’s largest flower (Rafflesia arnoldi) and the tallest flower (Amorphophallustitanium). The relict lowland forests in the sites are very important for conservation of the plant and animal biodiversity of the rapidly disappearing lowland forests of Southeast Asia. Similarly, the  montane forests, although less threatened, are very important for conservation of the distinctive montane vegetation of the property.

 

The serial property straddles the equator and comprises three widely separated nationally protected areas along the Bukit Barisan Mountain Range, running from Aceh in the north-west to Bandar Lampung in the south-east and representing whole or part of the three most significant remnant “islands” of the once vast Sumatran forests. Biological and ecological processes are preserved within the property because it contains a sufficiently large number of ecosystems, forest types, ranges of altitudes and topographies. The exceptionally beautiful features of Sumatra such as Gunung Tujuh and Gunung Kerinci are contained within the site in their entirety. 

 

The unique shape and size of the property provide significant habitat for in-situ conservation of thousands of Sumatran species, in particular species that require larger home ranges like Sumatran tiger, Sumatran orang-utan, Sumatran elephant, Sumatran rhino and Sumatran ground cuckoo. The property is a living laboratory for science and contains some of the most distinguished research centres in Indonesia (Way Canguk, Ketambe and Suaq Belimbing) and hosts international high-level collaborations from world renowned institutions.

 

Threats to the integrity of the property include road development plans as well as agricultural encroachment. The main fundamental threatening processes are directly linked to the access provided by roads and failure to effectively enforce existing laws. Road access facilitates illegal logging, encroachment and poaching which all pose significant threats to the integrity of the component parks of the property.  Collaboration with stakeholders, including Rhino Protection Unit (RPU), WWF Elephant Patrol, FFI Tiger Protection and Conservation, Zoological Society of London – Tiger Conservation has significantly reduced poaching incidents. Joint patrols with related parties including police officers and local government officers, and rangers recruited from local communities, support the Ministry of Forestry to enforce existing laws.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


Passing

Eggs

Flowers

Shake hands

Ray
Like 0 Share
8.03K

Report

Comment (0 comments)

facelist doodle Doodle board

You need to login to comment Login | register


Album

Recent comments

  • World’s First Human Head Transplant Will Take Place in 2017 2017-3-13 19:55

    HailChina!: Have you ever seen the old Russian video of dogs head that is sort of alive with no body?

    I am excited about this because if we can replace our bodi ...
    Agreed man.

  • World’s First Human Head Transplant Will Take Place in 2017 2017-3-11 06:25

    Have you ever seen the old Russian video of dogs head that is sort of alive with no body?

    I am excited about this because if we can replace our bodies then we can extend our lives and this kind of thing could lead to something close to immortality maybe. It would be good if the brain could be transplanted into a new body. We could grow clone replacement bodies and then just put the brain in when the body we are using gets old.

    I want a new body and I would also like a new head. A better looking one.

    I finished the first Metal Gear Solid on the playstation.

Star blogger

Anming

4124

views

Maierwei

2603

views

财神

4580

views

Most Viewed

Most commented

BACK TO THE TOP
Contact us:Tel: (86)010-84883548, Email: blog@chinadaily.com.cn
Blog announcement:| We reserve the right, and you authorize us, to use content, including words, photos and videos, which you provide to our blog
platform, for non-profit purposes on China Daily media, comprising newspaper, website, iPad and other social media accounts.