Camera trap videos from Sumatra reveal an array of rare wildlife, highlighting the astonishing wealth of biodiversity found in the island’s rainforests. These images are providing conservationists with invaluable data on the perilous state of these species and the habitats they depend on for their survival.
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With less than a quarter of Sumatra’s rainforest remaining, the conservation of large, functioning ecosystems has become crucial for the survival of the island’s endangered species. The largest surviving block of rainforest in Sumatra is called the “Leuser Ecosystem” in Aceh province. As pressure mounts on Leuser’s forests, wildlife needs protection more than ever. Successful conservation strategies come from understanding the biology, behavior, and habitat requirements of these rare species.
Using battery-operated waterproof cameras with remote sensors and night vision, researchers have collected candid video of a variety of rarely seen species. Images of sun bears strolling nonchalantly through the forest and shy marbled cats pausing in forest clearings give a glimpse into the lives of these elusive animals, while allowing analysis of their behaviors and distribution patterns across Leuser.
Some of the most exciting video comes from a mother Sumatran Rhinoceros and calf. With less than 100 Sumatran Rhinos surviving in the wild, they are amongst the most critically endangered large mammals in the world.
Rainforest Trust has identified the Kluet watershed as one of the most vital areas for conservation of Sumatran Rhinos in the Leuser Ecosystem and is working to strategically purchase private properties in the watershed to establish the 184,795-acre Kluet Wildlife Reserve (approximately the size of New York City).
The new Kluet Wildlife Reserve lies adjacent to the proposed Gunung Leuser National Park and is crucial to blocking a key access point into the watershed and park. Furthermore, the new reserve lies within an important wildlife corridor for Sumatran Elephants and has been identified as some of the most important habitat for Sumatran Rhinos in Leuser – the last refuge for the species.
Learn how you can help Rainforest Trust to protect the Leuser Ecosystem.