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Location Indonesia, Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam,Sumatera Utara
Central coordinates 97o 42.00' East  3o 41.00' North
IBA criteria A1, A2, A3
Area 1,700,000 ha
Altitude 0 - 3,450m
Year of IBA assessment 2004

Burung Indonesia (Affiliate)

Site description The highest point in this area is peak of Gunung Leuser (3450 m), and also the second highest point in Sumatra. Beside that, there are some areas that have elevation above 3000 m . Lembah Alas, with the highest point of Gunung Bendahara (2997 m), is also part of this area.Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre in Bahorok-Bukit Lawang (North Sumatra) is visited by many tourists. Research station in Ketambe and National Park Head office located near Kutacane. Other popular activities are birdwathing and rafting in Alas River from Ketambe to Singkil (Griffiths 1992, Rijksen & Griffiths 1995)

Key Biodiversity This area contains lowland and mountain bird species. However some mountain species recorded in Gunung Kerinci, such as Schneider's Pitta Pitta schneider, Black-crowned Pitta Pitta venusta, and Sumatran Cochoa Cochoa beccarii are not recorded in this area. Other two species from this site, Hoogerwerf's Pheasant Lophura hoogerwerfi and Mountain Serin Serinus estherae, are not distributed to southern part of Sumatra. Based on newest data, Mountain Serin Serinus estherae is also found at Samosir Island, Lake Toba, as a result the distribution range not only in Gunung Leuser peak as mentioned in Marle & Voous (1988).Bird information from Kluet as part of this area from C.P. van Scahik (in litt. to D. Holmes, March 1993), mentioned that this area probably important for White-winged Duck Cairina scutulata population. Masked Finfoot Heliopais personata also reported in this area (Holmes 1996).Three days survey at Besitang by Chris Shepherd not found any important species (April 1999), but with some additional survey time more species are expected to be found in this area. Tropicoperdix charltonii which has been found near Kuala Simpang (300 m asl) probably also lives in this area. Trichastoma buettikoferi found at 100 m elevation at Bahorok, near to this area.

Non-bird biodiversity: Other biodiversity include Cuon alpinus, Dicerorhinus sumatraensis, Elephas maximus, Helarctos malayanus, Naemorhidus (Capricornis) sumatrensis, Panthera tigris, Hylobates lar, Hylobates syndactylus, Macaca nemestrina, Pongo pygmaeus, Presbytis thomasi, Presbytis cristata, Neofelis nebulosa, Felis bengalensis, Felis marmorata, Felis planiceps, Felis temminckii, Felis viverrensis, Nesolasgus netscheri, Tomistoma schlegelii, Varanus salvator, and fish species such as Tor soro and Hampala macrolepidota (Griffiths 1992, Anon 1995, Rijksen & Griffiths 1995, Colijn 1999).

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Lophura hoogerwerfi resident  2004  present  A1  Not Recognised 
White-winged Duck Asarcornis scutulata resident  2004  present  A1  Endangered 
Wallace's Hawk-eagle Nisaetus nanus resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Masked Finfoot Heliopais personatus non-breeding  2004  present  A1  Endangered 
Large Green-pigeon Treron capellei resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Sumatran Ground-cuckoo Carpococcyx viridis resident  2004  present  A1  Critically Endangered 
Schneider's Pitta Pitta schneideri resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 
Straw-headed Bulbul Pycnonotus zeylanicus resident  2004  present  A1  Vulnerable 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Gunung Leuser National Park 792,675 protected area contained by site 1,094,692  
Leuser National Park ASEAN Heritage 1,094,692 protected area overlaps with site 0  
The Leuser Ecosystem Conservation Area 2,700,000 protected area contains site 1,700,000  
Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra World Heritage Site 2,595,125 protected area contains site 1,700,000  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Forest Lower montane rain forest (tropical); Lowland evergreen rain forest (tropical); Upper montane rain forest (tropical)  major
Wetlands (inland)   -
Artificial - terrestrial Arable land  5%
Shrubland Subalpine and alpine scrub  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
nature conservation and research major
tourism/recreation -

Protection status 792675 ha (573690 ha in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam province and 218985 ha in Sumatra Utara province) of this area has been declared as Gunung Leuser National Park based on SK Mentan No. 913/Kpts/Um/10/1982 on 30 October 1982 and SK Mentan No. 165/Kpts/Um/3/1982 (Anon 1995).Based on SK Menhut No. 276/Kpts-VI/97 on 23 May 1997, the area has been extended to 1,094,692 ha (Anon 1998).

References Anon. 1995. National Conservation Plan forIndonesia (3 A-H). Ministry of Forestry, Directorate General of Forest Protection and Nature Conservation, Jakarta.Anon. 1998. Statistik Perlindungan Hutan dan Pelestarian Alam 1997/1998. Departemen Kehutanan dan Perkebunan, Direktorat Jenderal Perlindungan Hutan dan Pelestarian Alam, Jakarta.Colijn, E.O. 1999. The Indonesian Nature Conservation Database. URL: Visited on July, 1 1999Griffiths, M. 1992. Leuser National Park. PKA/WWF, Indonesia.Holmes, D.A. 1996. Sumatra Bird Report. Kukila 8: 9-56.Marle, J.G. van and Voous, K.H. 1988. The birds of Sumatra: an annotated check-list. British Ornithologists Union Check-list No. 10. Tring, UK.Rijksen, H.D. and Griffiths, M. 1995. Master Plan: Development Programme LEUSER, ICDP, Aceh.

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Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Gunung Leuser. Downloaded from on 26/10/2016

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