Gunung Leuser

In 1981, Gunung Leuser became the first biosphere reserve on Sumatra, which forms the Strait of Malacca with Malaysia. A crossroads of religions and languages, it is one of the most populated islands worldwide. Four million people live within and adjacent to Genung Leuser.

Bordered by volcanoes, mineral pools, freshwater rivers and swamps, the Gunung Leuser Biosphere Reserve is home to unparalleled biodiversity.  The orangutan, the biosphere reserve's emblematic species, has been the driving force behind a concerted effort by scientists, local and international organisations, together with the communities living there, to restore the forest and thus Celebrate Life! Listen to the voices of the biosphere reserve's inhabitants in this podcast and discover stories about their daily life.

Meet Suci Utami, an orangutan researcher.

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Listen to Suci Utami, an orangutan researcher at the Gunug Leuser Biosphere Reserve.
+3,200 plant species

have been recorded in these various ecosystems - from tropical forest to mountains - among which 95 types of great dipterocarp trees.

As big as Costa Rica

With a total size of 5,290,761.64 ha, the biosphere reserve is as large as Costa Rica. Its 1,094,692 ha core area is the size of Lebanon.

89 key protected species

are found in the biosphere reserve such as the orangutan (Pongo), Sumatran elephant (Elephas maximus sumatranus), Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) and Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis).

+325 birds species

can be found in Genung Leuser. Famous for birds of paradise, Indonesia’s patchwork habitats make it the fourth country worldwide in terms of number of bird species, after Colombia, Peru and Brazil.