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Experience Sumatra

Sights and Sounds from Southeast Asia’s Largest Remaining Tropical Rain Forests

The world’s sixth-largest island, Sumatra is the only place where tigers, elephants, rhinos and orangutans co-exist. Conserving these forests is critical to protecting these magnificent species and stopping global climate change. WWF is making a difference in Sumatra by working with governments, business and industry, and local communities to safeguard Southeast Asia’s largest remaining tropical rain forests.

Watch the Elephant Flying Squad

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Reducing human-elephant conflict

As forest is cleared for agricultural use, wild elephants are forced to wander in search of food, making farms and plantations an irresistible temptation. On the outskirts of the Tesso Nilo forest, WWF has trained four elephants and eight people to form a "flying squad" that drives wild elephants away from farms and toward forests that can support them.

Behind the Scenes with the Flying Squad

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© WWF-US/Jan Vertefeuille
Flying squad rangers atop their elephant partners. The elephants were chosen for their size, strength, health and bravery to help WWF reduce conflict between wild elephants and local people.

Say Cheese! Sumatran species in the wild

WWF scientists and field staff are using cameras equipped with infrared triggers, called camera traps, to obtain critical data about wildlife and their habitats.

View WWF’s exclusive photo galleries of Sumatra’s exotic wildlife.

Signs and Sightings: A Tiger Tracking Story

Conservation Results

Sumatra’s forests are critical habitat for the island’s tigers, elephants, rhinos and orangutans. But these magnificent creatures are disappearing as their homes are cut for pulp and palm oil production. The forests are important not only for the island’s biodiversity, but the world’s climate as well. Sumatra’s peat forests are believed to sit atop Southeast Asia’s largest store of peat carbon, a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions when disturbed.

NEW VIDEO: Experience the sights and sounds of Sumatra! © WWF-Indonesia

In October 2008 WWF celebrated a historic island-wide agreement to protect Sumatra’s disappearing biodiversity. There is now renewed hope in Sumatra, as this eleventh-hour reprieve comes on the heels of another recent win – the expansion of Tesso Nilo National Park to more than double its previous size. Both achievements are the result of WWF's successful partnerships, local-to-global strategy and foundation in solid science.

Take Action! Thank Indonesian Officials for Protecting Sumatra's Forests

First footage of rare Javan rhino

For the first time, the Javan rhino has been filmed in the jungles of Indonesia’s Ujung Kulon National Park. After only a month in operation, these specially designed video cameras have recorded remarkable images of a mother and calf pair of the world's rarest rhino. The video trap was installed and monitored by a survey team including WWF, biologists, park rangers and local people.