The 2.5 million hectare Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra site comprises three national parks: Gunung Leuser National Park, Kerinci Seblat National Park and Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park. The site holds the greatest potential for long-term conservation of the distinctive and diverse biota of Sumatra, including many endangered species. The protected area is home to an estimated 10,000 plant species, including 17 endemic genera; more than 200 mammal species; and some 580 bird species of which 465 are resident and 21 are endemic. Of the mammal species, 22 are Asian, not found elsewhere in the archipelago and 15 are confined to the Indonesian region, including the endemic Sumatran orang-utan. The site also provides biogeographic evidence of the evolution of the island.
Criterion (vii): The parks that comprise the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra are all located on the prominent main spine of the Bukit Barisan Mountains, known as the ‘Andes of Sumatra’. Outstanding scenic landscapes abound at all scales. The mountains of each site present prominent mountainous backdrops to the settled and developed lowlands of Sumatra. The combination of the spectacularly beautiful Lake Gunung Tujuh (the highest lake in southeast Asia), the magnificence of the giant Mount Kerinci volcano, numerous small volcanic, coastal and glacial lakes in natural forested settings, fumaroles belching smoke from forested mountains and numerous waterfalls and cave systems in lush rainforest settings, emphazise the outstanding beauty of the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra.
Criterion (ix): The Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra represent the most important blocks of forest on the island of Sumatra for the conservation of the biodiversity of both lowland and mountain forests. This once vast island of tropical rainforest, in the space of only 50 years, has been reduced to isolated remnants including those centred on the three nominated sites. The Leuser Ecosystem, including the Gunung Leuser National Park, is by far the largest and most significant forest remnant remaining in Sumatra. All three parks would undoubtedly have been important climatic refugia for species over evolutionary time and have now become critically important refugia for future evolutionary processes.
Criterion (x): All three parks that comprise the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra are areas of very diverse habitat and exceptional biodiversity. Collectively, the three sites include more than 50% of the total plant diversity of Sumatra. At least 92 local endemic species have been identified in Gunung Leuser National Park. The nomination contains populations of both the world’s largest flower (Rafflesia arnoldi) and the tallest flower (Amorphophallus titanium). The relict lowland forests in the nominated sites are very important for conservation of the plant and animal biodiversity of the rapidly disappearing lowland forests of South East Asia. Similarly, the montane forests, although less threatened, are very important for conservation of the distinctive montane vegetation of the property.
Year of Inscription: 2004
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