On the island of Sumatra, home to some of the world’s most ancient forests, elephants, tigers, rhinos and orangutans live together.
It is the last place on Earth where they live side by side, according to The Independent.
Sumatra is the largest island entirely situated in Indonesia and it is known for its outlandish rugged beauty and importance on a global scale.
But all of that may be about to change as the Leuser ecosystem on the island of Sumatra is being destroyed by giant corporations.
Dr Ian Singleton explained:
If the Amazon rainforests are the lungs of the Earth, the Leuser is its heart – beating with vitality for us all. [Industry] is eating away at every corner of the ecosystem.
From its pristine tropical beaches to its rugged high mountaintops, the Leuser ecosystem pulses with life.
It is the last place on Earth where Southeast Asia’s most iconic species – orangutans, tigers, rhinos and elephants – still live side by side in the wild.
Dr. Singleton added:
To step into Leuser’s steamy rainforests is to experience a serenade of biodiversity, a cacophony of buzzing insects, singing birds, croaking frogs, and loud-calling primates. But Leuser’s forests face a growing threat. Despite being protected by Indonesian law, the ecosystem is under siege for short-term profits.
Corporate interests such as industrial pulp and palm oil plantations, mining and logging operations, energy projects, and all the roads and infrastructure that get built to support them, are eating away at every corner of the ecosystem.
As the last remaining intact lowland forests and peat lands are being cleared, drained burned and carved up into smaller fragments, all of the region’s threatened and endangered species, many of them endemic and found nowhere else in the world, are being pushed closer to the brink of extinction.
With fewer and fewer animals in the wild, Singleton added that the Sumatran orangutan could ‘easily become the first great ape species to go extinct’ and that the Sumatran tigers and rhino could soon follow.
If you want to do anything about saving the island of Sumatra and its inhabitants then Singleton has urged all to sign the campaign called Love The Leuser.
Joseph Loftus is a Gold Standard NCTJ journalist with four years experience working for international and regional press.
As well as working for UNILAD and LADbible, Joseph has worked as Liverpool Correspondent for Unsigned & Independent Magazine, as well as stints with the Liverpool Echo and Warrington Guardian.