Tropical Rainforest Sumatra


The Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra is a mountainous landscape of exceptional beauty, which forests hold many endangered species including the endemic Sumatran orang-utan.

The site comprises three Indonesian national parks on the island of Sumatra. They are:

- Gunung Leuser National Park

- Kerinci Seblat National Park

- Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park


Community Reviews

John Booth - June 2013

Despite external forces of corruption there are still people in Sumatra that are dedicated to halting further encroachment by farmers, loggers and poachers on the remaining areas of tropical rainforest.

I met rangers in the Gunung Leuser National Park who care for the burgeoning number of orang-utans in their care. This notwithstanding that the forest can no longer sustain the numbers now there, requiring the rangers to supplement their food supply.

In the Kerinci Seblat National Park there are similar individuals trying to protect the remaining wildlife and flora, all the time having the forest encroached on by farmers, hunters and loggers.

I visited these two National Parks as part of a tour of Sumatra that also took in visits to Berestagi, Lake Toba, Bukittinggi and Padang.

Anthony Sun - December 2008

This WHS is spread out all over Sumatra. All jungle national parks look the same to me and so to find a reason to check this WHS off your list is to get to Medan in North Sumatra and visit the Bohorok Orangutan rehabilitation center, a two hour drive from Medan. Orangutan babies are collected illegally by killing their mothers. They are then sold as pets. The problem is that when the Orangutans grow up and become unmanageable, they are abandoned. The rehab center is to save these animals and train them to survive in the wild with some supplemental milk and food. Orangutan rehab centers exist also in Borneo but this site is more primitive and so much more natural then others I have visited. I visited this site in August 1994 and also nearby Lake Toba and the native villages around the lake.

Bohorok is part of Gunung Leuser National Park.

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Site Info

Full name: Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra

Site History

  • 2011 - In Danger

    four proposed roads, ongoing encroachment, poaching and illegal logging
  • 2004 - Inscribed

    Reasons for inscription


The site has 3 locations.

  • Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park
  • Gunung Leuser National Park
  • Kerinci Seblat National Park


The site has 24 connections.



  • Critically endangered fauna species Sumatran orangutan - "A survey in 2004 estimated that around 7,300 Sumatran orangutans still live in the wild" (wiki), "There are believed to be around 6,600 individuals surviving in just ten fragmented habitat units." (see link)
  • Elephants Asian Elephant (Sumatran elephant)
  • Otters smooth-coated otter (UNEP-WCMC)
  • Peat "the site contains significant and important natural habitats, ranging from coastal, lowland, hill, sub-montane, peat swamp, ......." (Nom File)
  • Rainforests 
  • Rhino habitat Sumatran rhinoceros at GNLP (UNEP-WCMC)
  • Strepsirrhini slow loris
  • Tapirs Malayan tapir
  • Tiger habitat 
  • Turtles and tortoises leatherback turtle, green turtle, spiny terrapin, Malayan giant turtle and Malayan flatshelled turtle



  • Palaeolithic and Mesolithic Tiangko Panjang Cave - Records of life have been discovered in Tiangko Panjang cave within KSNP area., dating up to 10,000 years ago (AB ev)

Human Activity

  • Coffee Bukit Barisan Selatan NP. "The park has recently lost 20% of its forests to illegal agriculture .... WWF found that more than 450 km? of park land is being used for growing coffee, and the organisation is now working with multinational coffee companies (including Nestle) to help them avoid buying illegally grown coffee.

Individual People

  • Sir Stamford Raffles The Rafflesia Arnoldii produces the largest individual flower on Earth. Its range is limited to the rain forests of Sumatra and Borneo. Wiki states it to be "rare and fairly hard to locate" and "how many of these plants still survive is unknown" The species was "discovered" in 1818 by a botanical expedition in West Sumatra (not within the inscribed area) led by a Thomas Arnold who was lead botanist for the East India company - Raffles was present on the expedition in his then role of Governor-General of Bencoolen on Sumatra. The name given honoured both the finder and his patron. Its presence within the nominated parks is highlighted in the justification under Criteria x.


  • Cryptozoology Orang Pendek (sightings in Kerinci Seblat National Park). "Consensus among witnesses is that the animal is a ground-dwelling, bipedal primate that is covered in short fur and stands between 80 centimetres (31 in) and 150 centimetres (59 in) tall." (Wiki)

World Heritage Process