Sumatra - Flora and Fauna

Flora and Fauna

See also: List of national parks of Indonesia

Sumatra supports a wide range of vegetation types which are home to a rich variety of species, including 17 endemic genera of plants. Unique species include the Sumatran Pine which dominates the Sumatran tropical pine forests of the higher mountainsides in the north of the island and rainforest plants such as Rafflesia arnoldii (the world's largest individual flower), and the Titan Arum (the world's largest unbranched inflorescence).

The island is home to 201 mammal species and 580 bird species. There are 9 endemic mammal species on mainland Sumatra and 14 more endemic to the nearby Mentawai Islands. The species present include: Sumatran Tiger, Sumatran Orangutan, Sumatran Rhinoceros, Sumatran Elephant, Sumatran Striped Rabbit, Dhole, Dayak Fruit Bat, Malayan Tapir, Malayan Sun Bear and the Sunda Clouded Leopard. There are about 300 freshwater fish species in Sumatra.

The island has lost 48% of its natural forest cover since 1985, and many of the remaining species are endangered. The Sumatran Tiger, Sumatran Rhino, and Sumatran Orangutan are all Critically Endangered, indicating the highest level of threat to their survival. In October 2008, the Indonesian government announced a plan to protect Sumatra's remaining forests. However, the construction of illegal roads through prime tiger habitat has continued since then by companies led by Asia Pulp & Paper.

The island includes more than 10 national parks, including 3 which are listed as the Tropical Rainforest Heritage of Sumatra World Heritage Site—Gunung Leuser National Park, Kerinci Seblat National Park and Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park. The Berbak National Park is one of three national parks in Indonesia listed as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention.

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