2016 - Research Expedition
The Leuser ecosystem - the only remaining area in which Sumatran orangutans, elephants, tigers, and rhinos coexist in the wild - and home to numerous mammal and bird species which cannot be found anywhere else in the world. Leuser lost more than 22,000 hectares of forest cover between 2015 and 2017, with forest loss heightening human-elephant conflict, leading to the deaths of 35 elephants between 2012 and 2015. There are now fewer than 1,700 Sumatran elephants left in the wild.
The team undertook a research expedition into the previously un-researched montane forest adjacent to Leuser National Park. Unlike Leuser, the area is protected from poachers and logging by precipitous terrain. The most remote forest surrounded the 3080m Mount Kurik, on which the team attempted the first ascent. They then continued to the coast - completing a 500km biodiversity transect from the Acehnese mountains to the Indian Ocean.