Safeguarding Sumatra

The Indonesian Island of Sumatra is home to incredible wildlife and forests and is part of the Sundaland Biodiversity Hotspot. It is home to Critically Endangered Sumatran Rhinos, Orangutans, Asian Elephants and Sumatran Tigers. Re:wild works with partners to save and restore Endangered species and irreplaceable ecosystems in Sumatra.

An Irreplaceable Ecosystem

The Leuser Ecosystem is 6.5 million acres of rainforest on Sumatra and is the last place on Earth where all those species still live together in the wild. The pristine lowland forests, lush peat swamps, and cloud-shrouded mountain forests are among the largest remaining intact rainforests in all of Indonesia, serving as a carbon storage powerhouse and the source of drinking water and agricultural livelihoods for millions of people. The ecosystem is also the customary lands of the Gayo, Alas, Kluet, Aneuk Jamee and Karo peoples. 

A Forum Konservasi Leuser ranger dismantling a wire snare. (Photo courtesy of Forum Konservasi Leuser)

Re:wild works with multiple partners to conserve the Leuser Ecosystem, including supporting the Leuser Ecosystem Action Fund that provides grants for conservation efforts across the Ecosystem. 

A National Park Home to Critically Endangered Species   

Way Kambas is a lowland, coastal forest park home to Sumatran Rhino, Asian Elephant, and Tiger, but also rare species like the Flat-headed cat and the Malay Tapir. Re:wild supports park protection efforts through our local partner YABI while focusing on conserving the Sumatran Rhino. 

A Sumatran Rhino. (Photo courtesy of Re:wild senior associate Bill Konstant)

The Sumatran Rhino, one of the most iconic species on the island, is Critically Endangered, but the government of Indonesia is leading an ambitious effort to save and rewild the species. The rhinos are found in small isolated populations, which has made it hard for them to easily find each other to breed. Under the direction of the Ministry of Environment and Forestry’s Sumatran Rhino Emergency Action Plan, the Sumatran Rhino Survival Alliance— which includes Re:wild— supports the government of Indonesia’s national Sumatran Rhino breeding program, which will relocate select rhinos to join an emergency conservation breeding program.

Wild Facts

  • Leuser is home to more than 105 mammal species, 382 bird species and 95 reptile and amphibian species.

  • Sumatran rhinos are the closest living relatives of the now extinct Woolly Rhinos.

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There is no one-size-fits-all solution to the interrelated crises of wildlife extinctions, climate change and pandemics. Re:wild works with local and Indigenous communities, conservation partners, governments and others to solve some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. Our conservation work in Sumatra includes any combination of the following solutions:

Science-based Decision-making

Conducting scientific research, synthesizing data and using that information to prioritize our conservation efforts and enable a deeper understanding of global biodiversity, its status and how best to conserve it.

protected area management

Improving the way protected and conserved areas are managed—involving communities, Indigenous peoples, sociology, economics, business management, and wildlife crime prevention—to ensure a safer future for biodiversity and local communities.

Ecosystem Restoration

Supporting extensive native habitat restoration, such as reforestation, that assists in the recovery of ecosystems that have been degraded or destroyed, but that can rebound and rewild with a little help.

Wildlife crime prevention

Developing community-led and owned prevention strategies that take into account the societal and cultural drivers of wildlife crime, and implementing systems and technology to stop poachers before a crime is even committed.

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conservation breeding, translocations and reintroductions

Creating insurance populations to prevent extinction and active management of wildlife populations to help restore them to healthy and self-sustainable numbers across their natural range.

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Partnering with Indigenous Peoples

Incorporating Indigenous knowledge, practices and values to support Indigenous peoples in protecting and managing their lands and natural resources.


Exploring some of the most remote corners of our planet to discover how and where we can have the biggest impact on imperiled species and places.

action funds

Collaborating on increasing the availability of conservation resources and grantmaking to support partners and guardians across the world in implementing the most transformative nature-based solutions.

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