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The Indonesian island of Sumatra holds some of the richest and most diverse tropical forests on the planet, giving shelter to many rare species and providing livelihoods for millions of people. Protecting these forests and the amazing biodiversity one finds here is a WWF priority.

Kerinci Seblat National Park, Sumatra, Indonesia. rel= © WWF / Mauri RAUTKARI

Species at risk
The forests of Sumatra are home to some of the world's rarest animals and plant species.
This is the only place where tigers, rhinos, orangutans and elephants live together.

It is home to lesser-known marvels, like the proboscis monkey, sun bear, clouded leopard and flying fox bat.

But these magnificent creatures are disappearing as their forest homes are rapidly being cut down to make way for oil palm plantations or destroyed by commercial or illegal logging.

Rampant poaching also poses a grave threat to the island's endangered species - tigers are hunted for their skins, rhinos are killed for their horns, and orangutans are taken from the wild for the entertainment and tourism trade.
Sumatran orang-utan <i>(Pongo pygmaeus abelii)</i> at the Bohorok Rehabilitation ... 
There are an estimated 7,500 orang-utans on Sumatra.

Illegal logging Riau, Sumatra rel= © WWF / Alain COMPOST

Conservation in action

From saving the Sumatran tiger - the most endangered subspecies of tigers - to conserving the habitat of the Sumatran elephant in the island's central Riau province - an area with one of the fastest rates of deforestation in Indonesia - WWF is working with local partners on Sumatra to protect the island's remaining forests and habitats.

Thanks to the success of a number of ongoing conservation projects and initiatives in Sumatra, WWF has a number of notable accomplishments, including:

Young Sumatran elephant in Way Kambas, Sumatra, Indonesia. 
Young Sumatran elephant in Way Kambas, Sumatra, Indonesia.

Smile, you're on candid camera!

The Sumatran tiger, numbering no more than 400 individuals in the wild, is found exclusively on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, the last stronghold for tigers in Indonesia.

Sumatran tiger photographed by a camera trap in a remote part of the Sumatran jungle © WWF
To help protect the endangered species, WWF is working deep in the jungles of Sumatra to assess the tiger's status and to study the threats to its survival.

One of the most effective ways of doing this is with camera traps. Triggered by temperature-sensitive sensors, infrared camera traps snap photos as tigers pass by. The results provide invaluable information about the species and its habitat, and are used to ensure that they are effectively protected.

Where is Sumatra?
Sumatra is highlighted in purple below

View WWF Critical Regions of the World in a larger map

Facts & Figures

  • Covering 470,000 km2, Sumatra is the 6th largest island in the world.
  • There are more than 15,000 known plants in Sumatra's forests; since 1995, more than 400 new species have been identified.
  • About 12 million hectares of forest on Sumatra have been cleared in the past 22 years, a loss of nearly 50%.
  • Sumatra is home to 201 mammal species and 580 bird species.
  • Critically endangered, there are fewer than 300 Sumatran rhinos and fewer than 400 Sumatran tigers left in the wild.
  • The Sumatran elephant is the smallest of the Asian elephants.
  • The Sumatran orangutan is more endangered than the Borneo orangutan.