© WWF / Mauri RAUTKARI
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.
© WWF / Alain COMPOST
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:
- Brokering the first-ever, island-wide commitment to protect Sumatra’s natural forests
- Partnering with the Indonesian government to establish Tesso Nilo National Park to protect critical elephant and tiger habitat. WWF’s continued research and advocacy resulted in the government doubling the size of the national park in 2008.
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.
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.
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.