April 17, 2009

The Endangered Sumatran Orangutan of Leuser

Have you ever seen an Orangutan…? Where? In a zoo?. Seeing the orangutan in their natural habitat is really amazing. You will be feeling something special when they are trying to continue their live. Sadly, looking for food while most of their natural landscapes have been fragmented.

The Sumatran orangutan is one of endangered species found in Sumatera, of Indonesia. This species naturally live in The Leuser Ecosystem Region (LER). This conservation biosphere is the largest conservation area in Indonesia and representing a complex natural landscape. The region officially covers 1,790,000 hectares of land but other popular references often cited larger, varying from 2.2 to 2.6 million hectares. This region encompasses the Indian Ocean shores almost to the Malacca strait.

Centre of this ecosystem is the Gunung (mount) Leuser National Park (GLNP). The park is located in the districts of Aceh Tenggara, Singkil and Aceh Selatan, of Aceh province, and Langkat district of Sumatera Utara province.
The GLNP has also already been listed as a natural World Heritage Site in 2004.

Some legislations and economic activities policies of this park have been summarized. The legislations did not work properly at local level regarding the needs of local communities and local government’s necessities. This result in habitat degradation of the Sumatera orangutan. Arable land for local socio-economic development of some districts of Aceh is critical as shown in my simple simulated district’s.

In the past, easy to find the orangutan in Ketambe sightseeing and hear the various sound of other birds and mammals. Recently, watching this species freely in their habitat is quite impossible. I was a bit lucky recording them in March 2009 when they were looking for their fruit favorite. How to keep them alive without sadness? Many efforts have been done by some international NGOs such as the Leuser International Foundation, and researchers but nearly a zero result.

Did the NGOs project officers fail on designing their project?


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