Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra site was listed in UNESCO World Heritage list in 2004. It comprises three Indonesian national parks on the island of Sumatra — Gunung Leuser National Park, Kerinci Seblat National Park and the Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park. The site is listed under Criteria vii - outstanding scenic beauty; ix- an outstanding example representing significant on-going ecological and biological processes; and x- contains the most important and significant natural habitats for in-situ conservation.
The Tropical Rainforest of Sumatra is situated on the middle of Sumatra, Indonesia. It consist of three national parks; Gunung Leuser National Park (GLNP) (8629.75 km²), Kerinci Seblat National Park (KSNP) (13,753.5 km²) and Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park (BBSNP) (3568 km²). The total area of the rainforest is 25,000 square kilometres. The Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra was chosen because, first, it represents significant area of forests on the island of Sumatra, because of the biodiversity, of lowland and mountain forest. This once vast island of tropical rainforest has been condensed to secluded areas, in the space of 50 years.
Second, the national parks that make up the heritage are all located on the well-known key spine of the Bukit Barisan Mountains, known as the ‘Andes of Sumatra’, and that all around it there are magnificent views. The mountains of each site represent important mountainous backdrops to the established and developed lowlands of Sumatra. The mixture of the stunning Lake Gunung Tujuh (the highest lake in Southeast Asia), the splendour of the giant Mount Kerinci volcano, many small volcanic, coastal and glacial lakes in natural forested settings. This shows the beauty of the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra.
Lastly, all three national parks have a very varied habitat and have outstanding biodiversity. Altogether the three sites make up 50% of the total plant variety, in Sumatra. At least 92 local common species have been recognized in GLNP. The nomination contains populations of both the world’s largest flower (Rafflesia arnoldi) and the tallest flower (Amorphophallus titanum).The Tropical Rainforest of Sumatra has just recently become apart of the World Heritage List, in 2004.
GLNP in the north is 150 km long, over 100 km wide and is mostly mountainous. 40% of the park, which is mainly in the north, is steep, and over 1,500 m. 12% of the Park only, in the lower southern half, is below 600 meters but for 25 km runs down the coast. 11 peaks are over 2,700 m and the highest point is Gunung Leuser, which 3 466 m high.
KSNP in the centre extends 350 km down the back of the Bukit Barisan, averaging 45 km wide and 2000 m above sea level. The northern half has a lower eastern mountain range, between 800-1500 m. Three quarters of the park is steep. The highest point, and highest volcano in Indonesia, is the Mount Kerinci, standing at 3 805 m.
BBSNP is also 350 km long but only 45 km wide on average. The northern two-thirds are rocky, averaging 1500 m with the highest point, Mount Pulung standing at 1,964 m. The southern half is lower; 90 km of it is a cape and the Park borders the sea for half its length. Many of rivers derive in the Parks and there are several lakes and hot springs.
The mountains have year-round little changing high temperatures, high humidity and high rainfall for 9 months in wetter areas, 7 months in drier areas. This climate has encouraged the high speciation (formation of new species) and variety of species. GLNP, receives 3000 mm of rainfall, in the north, and collects 4657 mm in the lowland south. Temperatures average between 21 °C to 28 °C and the humidity is always above 60%, especially when over 1700 m. In KSNP, the rainfall averages 2990 mm, temperatures range from 16° to 28 °C and humidity is always high (77-90%). In BBNP, the rocky west is wet especially during the November to May monsoon: rainfall is 3000-4000 mm. The east is drier, with 2500-3000 mm of rainfall and the temperature ranging between 20°and 28 °C.
GLNP is a part of the 18 Indonesian regions classified by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) among the 200 global ecoregions of importance for preservation of the world’s biodiversity. 174 mammals, 3 being endemic and 21 listed as threatened in 2000. Little is known about the smaller mammals. 380 species of birds are listed, 13 being endemic and 52 threatened. Some of the important species: the orangutan, Sumatran rhinoceros, and the pigtailed monkey. Important plants are: Rafflesia arnoldi, and the Amorphophallus titanium. Several important bird species: Rueck’s blue flycatcher, and the white winged duck.
In KSNP, 85 mammal species are recorded, 5 endemic and 23 listed threatened 370 species of birds are listed, 13 being endemic and 58 threatened. Some important mammal species: Bornean Clouded Leopard, Asian tapir, and the Sumatran rhino. Several important bird species: White-winged duck and the Sumatran ground cuckoo. A few of important plant species: Hopea beccariana, Shorea ovalis ssp.seicea.
BBSNP, has 98 mammals are recorded, with 1 endemic and 25 threatened 379 species of birds are listed, 7 being endemic and 58. 59 reptile and amphibian species are recorded. BBSNP has the same bird species as KSNP. Some important mammal species: Sumatran elephant, and the leatherback turtle.