After decades of poaching and habitat destruction, fewer than 80 Sumatran rhinos are left in the world, many of them in the Leuser Ecosystem.
Here, the Acehnese NGO Forum Konservasi Leuser (FKL) together with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry have mounted a far-sighted species recovery plan, which addresses social and economic realities as lived by local communities, as well as improving the physical security of rhinos and their breeding success. Government and FKL teams have maintained a zero-poaching rate for rhinos, and thanks to the generosity of our donors, LEAF was recently able to support the construction of new patrol posts in critical areas of their habitat. Rangers working out of these posts check forest condition, and collaborate with law enforcement authorities who frequently seize fire lighters, palm oil seedlings and other equipment associated with forest crime. By working with multiple stakeholders, including government ministries, international donors and village elders, conservationists hope to secure a long-term future for this small and secretive rhino species, deep within the Leuser forests.