Leuser Landscape

Gunung Leuser National Park is located in two provinces, Aceh (covering southwest Aceh, South Aceh, Southeast Aceh, and Gayo Lues) & North Sumatra (covering Langkat and Karo districts), While Rawa Singkil Wildlife Reserve located in South Aceh and Aceh Singkil district of Aceh Province. WCS-IP works to support the Ministry of Environment and Forestry in both Gunung Leuser National Park (GLNP) and Rawa Singkil Wildlife Reserve and its buffer area. GLNP was named after Mount Leuser located inside the national park. GLNP covers 830.268,95 ha of tropical rainforest in the northern Sumatra and part of the Bukit Barisan range across Sumatra island.

Gunung Leuser National Park is determined as the only ecosystem in the world where 4 iconic endangered mammals live: Sumatran tiger, Sumatran rhino, Sumatran elephant and Sumatran orangutan, which some of it also registered as WCS global priority species. Due to the wide range of biodiversity in GLNP and considering its importance to the world, GLNP is included in Biosphere Reserve and Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra by UNESCO World Heritage Site. Meanwhile, Rawa Singkil Wildlife Reserve (RSWR) covers 82.188 Ha in three regencies: Aceh Singkil, South Aceh and Subulussalam. The aim of this area is to protect Sumatran orangutan, tiger and elephant as well as the protection of peat ecosystem.


GLNP combined with RSWR area encompass the biggest forest block in northern Sumatra. Both conservation area management unit are facing challenges related to the risk of habitat loss. With abundant valuable resource, poaching becomes a major threat to wildlife in GLNP, while illegal logging and forest area conversion are the main threat to RSWR, harming species which actually has a vital role for the ecosystem’s sustainability and balance.


In supporting Gunung Leuser National Park and Aceh Conservation Agency, WCS established 5 teams of Wildlife Response Unit (WRU) widely spread across South and southeast Aceh, Langkat – East Aceh, and Aceh Singkil. To support Aceh Conservation Agency in tackling human-tiger conflict, WRU along with natives has built 104 Tiger Proof Enclosures (TPEs). Besides, WRU has supported Aceh Conservation Agency installing camera trap in 24 villages in order to mapping human-animal conflict. WRU support in Leuser landscape shows significant result for the tiger conservation. Until now, WCS and Aceh Conservation Agencyhas assisted 11 Village to build the self-resilience of the comunity and stakeholders in tackling human wildlife conflicts, as well as growing public awareness and tolerance for the wildlife conservation that live around them, and this is part of the mid-term program implementation plan of WCS and Aceh Conservation Agency.

To increase the effectiveness of area protection, WCS-IP along with GLNP forest rangers run the SMART (Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool) patrols. In 2015, SMART Patrol team which consists of WCS-IP staff and GLNP forest ranger has patrolling as long as 2207.923 km in 3 national park management areas. Started this year, WCS and Aceh Conservation Agency also set up 3 patrol team in Rawa Singkil Wildlife Reserve. They aim to determine the priority area for conservation area management as well as the poaching or logging prone area to be addressed by the management unit.