BIRDING IN LEUSER SUMATRA

Birding to endemic birds of Sumatra in the unique eco-system of Leuser Ecosystem and Gunung Leuser National Park

The unique eco-system of Gunung Leuser National Park of Aceh Sumatra, Indonesia

Gunung Leuser National Park is a national park covering 7,927 km² in northern Sumatra, Indonesia. The Gunung Leuser National Park is one of the richest tropical rainforests in Southeast Asia and straddling the border of North Sumatra and Aceh provinces it is one of the last places on earth. This region is also a host of other wildlife. Elephants, rhinos, tigers, leopard cats, siamangs, Thomas leaf monkeys, macaques, gibbons are just a handful of the thousands of species found in this unique eco-system. 

The park area reaches up to 3,404m to the peak of Gunung Leuser which gave the area its name and protects a wide range of eco-systems. There are river systems, volcanoes and lakes. This rainforest is immensely biodiverse, hosting approximately 700 different species of animals - more than 175 mammals, 320 birds, 190 reptiles and amphibians. Because of the great differences in altitude and the diversity in soil, the Gunung Leuser National Park has also an enormous wealth of plant species. 



Enjoy Birdwatching in the Beautifully landscape of Leuser Ecosystem Sumatra

The highest point in this area is peak of Gunung Leuser, 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).
The Sumatran Drongo is a species of bird in the Dicruridae family. It is endemic to Sumatra in Indonesia. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests. It is threatened by habitat loss

The area is very much under explored from a birdwatching perspective. Several sites are known to be of interest, but really anywhere could be explored. It's still many attractive locations for birding in GLNP including Eco-system of Leuser as incredible birding spot. There is the beach, swamp, lowland, mountain and alpine ecosystems of the Leuser Ecosystem. We can do birding with a different experience from other areas of Sumatra Island. Actually, it’s a collection of various nature reserves and forests: Nature Reserve Mount Leuser, Nature Reserve Kappi, Nature Reserve Kluet, Sikundur Langkat Wildlife Reserve, Ketambe Research Station, Singkil Barat and Dolok Sembilin. Most parts of the national park lie in the region Aceh Tenggara (SE Aceh). Other parts are situated in the region east Aceh, south Aceh, and Langkat.
Storm Stork (Ciconia Stormi) Gunung Leuser National Park of Aceh Sumatra, Indonesia. This stork is listed as Endangered because it has a very small, fragmented population which is very rapidly declining, owing to destruction of lowland forest through logging, dam construction and conversion to oil-palm plantations
In Gunung Leuser Rainforest Sumatra will also give us the opportunity to see a wide variety of Indo-Malayan species like Hornbills including Helmeted and Rhinoceros, broadbills including Black-and-red, Black-and-yellow, Green and Long-tailed, barbets including Fire-tufted, trogons including the endemic Sumatran as well as Diard's, Red-headed, Red-naped and Scarlet-rumped, kingfishers including Banded and Rufous-collared, (Malaysian) Banded (irena), and the endemic Graceful and Schneider's Pittas, leafbirds including the endemic Blue-masked, Asian Fairy Bluebird, sunbirds including Temminck's, Blue Nuthatch, Red-bearded Bee-eater, Common Green Magpie, Whiskered Treeswift and more
Local people rowing boat in Kluet Swamp of Gunung Leuser NP Sumatra. Kluet: boating on rivers and lakes, trekking through coastal forest and caving. Kluet is also a habitat of tigers and Orangutan.
The Leuser Ecosystem rainforest is as the best forest for sumatran birds. The Leuser Ecosystem and Gunung Leuser National Park (GLNP) is one of the richest tropical rainforest in Southeast Asia. The Leuser Ecosystem are covering more than 2.6 million hectares and including the 1.094.692 ha of Gunung Leuser National Park. The bigger part is located in Aceh Province (2,255,577 hectares) and the rest in North Sumatra Province (384,297 hectares). The Mount Leuser National Park (TNGL) has been recognised as a “World Heritage Site” by UNESCO. The park area starts at an altitude of 0m in Kluet and the highest point in this area is peak of Gunung Leuser reaches up to 3450 m, and also the second highest point in Sumatra. More than 400 species of birds recorded with majority Sumatran endemic, such as Hoogerwerf’s Pheasant, Roll’s Partridge, Red-billed Hill-partridge, Bronze-tailed Peacock-Pheasant, Sumatran Green Pigeon, Rajah Scops Owl, Short-tailed Frogmouth, Sumatran Laughingthrush and also Schneider’s Pitta as a new record was discovered in 2013. The Kluet swamp as part of this area as important for White-winged Wood Duck, Storm Stork and Masked Finfoot. However in Leuser Ecosystem is poorly discover by birder.

Other highlight of Sumatran endemic in Leuser such as Aceh Bulbul (Orange Spoted Bulbul), Schneider’s Pitta, Sumatran Laughingthrush, Sumatran Woodpecker, Roll’s Partridge, Red-billed Hill-partridge, Hoogerwerf’s Pheasant, Bronze-tailed Peacock-Pheasant, Rajah Scops Owl, Short-tailed Frogmouth, Salvadori’s Nightjar, Graceful Pitta, Sumatran Green Pigeon, Sumatran Trogon, Sumatran Babbler, Sumatran Drongo, Sumatran Treepie, Sumatran Leafbird, Cream-striped Bulbul, Spot-necked Bulbul, Rusty-breasted Wren-Babbler, Sumatran Wren-Babbler, Shiny Whistling Thrush, Brown-winged Whistling Thrush, Blue-masked Leafbird. ( Photo of Sumatran Birds viewable here )

"Sumatran" Silver-eared Mesia (Leiothrix argentauris rookmakeri) Highlands of nw Sumatra (Aceh District) see: avibase.bsc-eoc.org

Many endemic bird species of Sumatra Island can be found in the Leuser Ecosystem Area or Gunung Leuser National Park of Aceh like Sumatran Laughingthrush (Garrulax bicolor). Over 600 bird species recorded including around 28 epidemics. You can join with us to explore more....!


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Birding in Sumatra

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References:

1. Information & Base data from Cicem Nanggroe (Aceh Birder & Birdwatcher)  https://cicemnanggroe.wordpress.com/2013/04/09/aceh-birder-of-aceh-province-indonesia/
2. B
ird Life International  http://www.birdlife.org 
3. Wikipedia  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gunung_Leuser_National_Park


 


 

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