The Leuser Ecosystem


The Leuser Ecosystem is one of those special places teeming with life. Being in this ancient rainforest can change you forever.

Ancient, intact forest ecosystems are unsurpassed in their ability to house biodiversity, store carbon, and clean water and air. They are unsurpassed for the sensation of being somewhere wild, pure, and untouched. Imagine looking over a dense expanse of tree canopy of a forest that has evolved, untouched by industrial development, for thousands of years. Imagine the musky smell, the calls and buzzing of birds and insects, the sounds of rushing water, breezes rustling through leaves.

This is the feeling of being in the Leuser.

Indonesia’s Leuser Ecosystem: By the Numbers

  • The Leuser Ecosystem provides habitat for 105 different mammal species (that’s two percent of ALL global mammal species in an area just 6.5-million acres in size!)  It also houses 382 bird species and 95 reptile and amphibian species.
  • It is home to 8,500 species of plants.
  • Seven million people rely on the Leuser Ecosystem for clean air, water, flood protection, irrigation, medicines, and their livelihoods.
  • The Leuser Ecosystem is the ONLY place on Earth where rhinos, tigers, orangutans, and elephants are still found together in the wild. It is a living storybook, and yet it is threatened by logging and industrial development.
  • The Leuser Ecosystems’s most iconic species is the Sumatran Orangutan. The number of Sumatran orangutans in the wild is estimated to be about 14,600 and it is critically endangered.
  • Canopy is working alongside local leaders and NGOs to protect all 6.5 million acres of the Leuser Ecosystem and the magic it holds.


Read our timeline towards securing long-lasting protection of the Leuser.

Watch this movie about our work, set in part in the magnificent Leuser Ecosystem.