Why Gunung Leuser National Park Matters? What Are the Benefits?

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Why Gunung Leuser National Park Matters?

Gunung Leuser National Park is the source of life for both, humans and animals so far, no one could deny it. While Bukit Lawang is one of the villages where most of its people generate tourism incomes using Gunung Leuser National Park as its host.

Based on an economical point of view, Gunung Leuser National Park is undeniably to be very important, while ecologically, Gunung Leuser National Park plays a vital role to provide sources of life such as water, fertile soil, good air, pollination stability, and many more that could be definitely categorized as a healthy ecosystem.

“During my study before establishing SUMECO in Bukit Lawang that I expected to be able to preserve its biodiversity sustainably, Gunung Leuser National park has been the one to provide me with all the lists of species that I would like to observe for my own study, I was not expecting that at my first visit.” Bobi Handoko.

Gunung Leuser National Park ecosystem is one of the most important conservation areas on earth. Located in two northernmost provinces of Sumatra islands, covering Aceh and North Sumatra, with an area of 2.6 million hectares, it’s very rich with its biodiversity.

Gunung Leuser National Park spans 13 regencies of Aceh province, including West Aceh, Nagan Raya, Southwest Aceh, South Aceh, Singkil Aceh, Subulussalam, Southeast Aceh, Gayo Lues, Central Aceh, Bener Meriah, North Aceh, East Aceh, and Aceh Tamiang, and 4 regencies of North Sumatra province, including Langkat, Dairi, Karo and Deli Serdang.

nisaetus cirhattus bukit lawang

It’s a Home to the Massive Numbers of Species.

Gunung Leuser National Park contains dense biodiversity, making it becoming popular for being an irreplaceable habitat for thousands of plant species and animals, most of them, are endemic. Gunung Leuser National Park contains more than 4,000 identified plant species. Those are plants providing food for villagers and animals.

Inside this park grows several rare and unique flowers that could only be found there as their natural habitats, such as giant Amorphophallus, parasol leaves (Johannesteijsmannia altifrons), rafflesia flowers (Rafflesia atjehensis and R. micropylora) and Rhizanthes zippelnii which are known to be the largest flowers with 1.5 meter in diameter. Their distributions are divided into 4 zones, the Tropical zone, the Transitional zone, the Montane zone, and the Sub-Alpine zone.

amorphophallus bukit lawang batu katak

Various types of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and invertebrates have become Leuser residents. There have been counted, 382 species of birds, 350 of them are endemic to this park, 52 species of amphibians and reptiles, which are dominated by venomous snakes, crocodiles, frogs, toads, and lizards, furthermore 102 species of mammals have been found as well, sadly, some of them are noticed to be almost extinct and can only be found in this park. Based on the available data, estimated there are 89 endangered protected species living in this park, some of them are very well-known, such as the Sumatran elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus), Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae), Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis), Sumatran orangutan (Pongo abelii), siamang (Symphalangus syndactylus), gibbon (Hylobates lar), and kedih (Presbytis thomasi).

Bukit Lawang Is an Entrance for Biodiversity Tourism of Gunung Leuser National Park in North Sumatra.

Bukit Lawang has become a village benefits from tourism over the dense biodiversity found in Gunung Leuser National Park. Most tourists who come to Bukit Lawang, will be looking for orangutans through the common option to available jungle trekking in Bukit Lawang. The benefits of Gunung Leuser National Park are the main contributors to the economic development in several villages of Langkat and Karo lands. The park definitely provides income to many lives, and many turned depending on the tourism to survive.

female orangutan and her baby

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