Leuser Ecosystem Rainforest: Birdwatching Paradise in Sumatra, one of the best birding experiences in the nation

Agus Nurza (one of the Aceh Birder leaders) and Yok Yok Hadiprakarsa (Indonesian Hornbill - when take a rest after birdwatching in Leuser Ecosystem Rainforest Sumatra 

Sumatra (Indonesian: Sumatera), is an island in western Indonesia, to the west of the Sunda Islands. It is the largest island that is entirely in Indonesia (two larger islands, Borneo and New Guinea, are shared between Indonesia and other countries) and the sixth largest island in the world at 473,481 km2. Its biggest city is Medan with over 4 million in the greater urban area. Sumatra is an elongated landmass spanning a diagonal northwest-southeast axis. The climate of the island istropical, hot and humid with lush tropical rain forest originally dominating the landscape.

The Holistic birding in sumatra will focus both in Leuser Ecosystem Rainforest region of Aceh Province and Bagan Percut region of north-eastern Sumatra, Indonesia.

The province of Aceh is located in the Northwest of Sumatra Island with the area of approximately 57,365.57 km square or 12.26 % of size of Sumatra Island. It consists of 119 islands, 73 major rivers and 2 lakes. Aceh is surrounded by Malacca Strait in the north, North Sumatra Province in the east, Indian Ocean in the south and the west. The capital of Aceh is Banda Aceh.

The Thomas's Leaf Monkey is endemic in Sumatra,
It's common in Leuser Ecosystem rainforest
Sumatra is famous for its elusive endemic birds which include a few of the shyest forest-floor skulkers in the world, so it is wise to allow as much time as possible to look for these species. There is the huge national park of Leuser and several smaller parks. The Orangutan, Siamang, White-handed (Agile) Gibbon, Mitred (Banded), Silvered and Thomas's Leaf Monkeys (Langurs), Long-tailed (Crab-eating) and (Sunda) Pig-tailed Macaques, (Greater) Slow Loris, Sunda Flying Lemur (Colugo), Black and Cream-coloured Giant Squirrels, tree shrews, Sambar and Lesser Mouse Deer. Also a chance of Leopard Cat and the Honey bear.

Aceh Forest is as being the home to the endemic and very rare like Salvadori’s Pheasant (Lophura inornata) and Schneider’s Pitta (Pitta schneideri). In Aceh Forest 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 more.

Great Hornbill in Aceh Sumatra
The Best Sites for Wildlife encounter and Birdwatching in Sumatra is the Gunung Leuser NP , Leuser Eco-System Forest, Gayo Highlands, Singkil Nature Reserve, Ulu Masen Eco-System, and Simeulue Island. The beautiful Gayo Highlands deep in the interior of Aceh are ripe for off-the-path picking. This is coffee country, cool and mountainous with spectacular vistas drifting in and out of focus between cool morning mists.

The Leuser Ecosystem and Gunung Leuser NP is an area of forest located in the provinces of Aceh and North Sumatra on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia. The Leuser Ecosystem is the last place on earth where sumatran elephant, sumatran rhinoceros, sumatran tiger and sumatran orangutanEspecially Orangutans in the Kluet swamp forest in Leuser are found in unusually high numbers (due to plentiful food and natural boundaries that prohibit their movement to other locations). 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 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 )

The Sumatran Trogon is restricted to a narrow altitudinal range in montane forest on Sumatra and nowhere else in the world.

The Bagan Percut region of north-eastern Sumatra, Indonesia, is becoming well known for its large concentrations of migratory shorebirds. More than 1% of the East Asian-Australasian flyway population of five species of migratory shorebirds: Nordmann’s Greenshank Tringa guttifer (globally Endangered), Lesser Sand Plover Charadrius mongolus, Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva, Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata, and Ruddy Turnstone Arenaria interpres. The Bagan Percut is an important habitat for wintering, migrating, and summering shorebirds.

The Milky Stork Mycteria cinerea is an Endangered species. This stork has been uplisted to Endangered because recent population estimates from its stronghold in Sumatra suggest that it is undergoing a very rapid ongoing population decline owing to intense hunting pressure at nesting colonies, human disturbance and the rapid loss and conversion of coastal habitat. The Milky Stork is one of the rare stork in the world.
The Milky Stork in North Sumatra

The Holistic Birding Tour in Sumatra (HBTS) is the Best package Birding-Eco-Adventure tour in Northern Sumatra. HBTS will make you enjoy for watching any wildlife like Siamang, White-handed (Agile) Gibbon, Mitred (Banded), Silvered and Thomas's Leaf Monkeys (Langurs), Sunda Flying Lemur (Colugo), Black and Cream-coloured Giant Squirrels. We make easy to watch some Sumatran Endemic Birds and many of Asian birds. We also have a fantastic series of birding and wildlife expedition in Aceh Sumatra. Interested in Bird & Wildlife Photography?!! Take a look at our exciting Wild Images tours of Aceh Birder here:

The area in this trips 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 G. Leuser NP including Eco-system of Leuser as incredible birding spot and also our best birding spot in Ulu Masen rain forest Sumatra and Gayo Highlands Sumatra. We can do birding with a different experience from other areas of Sumatra Island.
You can join us to explore more....!

If you have any questions about our tours or require further information, we will be happy to hear from you. Give us a call at +6285361481022, or send us an email at

Birdwatching with Sumatran elephant in Trumon Wildlife Corridor of
Leuser Ecosystem Rainforest Sumatra
Nepenthes, tropical pitcher plants in Leuser Sumatra
Flying Lemur in Sumatra

Asian Dowitcher in Sumatra
Birding Holidays in Sumatra with Aceh Birder

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