Leuser Landscape

Leuser landscape is located in two provinces, Aceh & North Sumatra province. WCS-IP works in this landscape both in Gunung Leuser National Park (GLNP) and Rawa Singkil Wildlife Reserve. GLNP was named after Mount Leuser located inside the national park. GLNP covers 838.872 Ha of tropical rainforest in the northern Sumatra and part of the Bukit Barisan range across Sumatra island.

This landscape 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 covers 82,374 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.


As the biggest forest block in northern Sumatra, Leuser Landscape is vulnerable to the risk of habitat loss due to forest conversion to palm oil plantation, illegal logging, and encroachment for residences. The rate of deforestation in GLNP is 0.135% every year. With abundant valuable resource, poaching becomes a major threat to wildlife in Leuser Landscape. Plenty number of illegal poaching in Leuser Landscape occurred, elephants and tigers being slaughtered for their skins and tusk. Demand from black market is higher than ever, make the number of illegal poaching raise significantly. These flagship species actually has a vital role for the ecosystem’s sustainability and balance.

What We Do

WCS established 4 teams of Wildlife Response Unit (WRU) widely spread across South and southeast Aceh, Langkat – East Aceh, and Aceh Singkil. In order to tackle human-tiger conflict, WRU along with natives has built 35 Tiger Proof Enclosures (TPEs). Besides, WRU has installed camera trap in 6 villages in order to mapping human-animal conflict. WRU in Leuser landscape shows significant result for the tiger conservation. In July 2012 – May 2013, there was only 1 tiger killed as opposed to 17 tigers killed due to conflict & poaching in 2006-2010.

To increase the effectiveness of area’s security, WCS-IP along with Gunung Leuser National Park forest rangers run the SMART (Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool) patrols. SMART Patrols helps arresting perpetrator of illegal activity and wildlife crime. 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, we also set up 3 patrol team in Rawa Singkil Wildlife Reserve. They aim to determine the priority area as well as the poaching or logging prone area.