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 Highlights

This picture shows us in the front of jungle gate. This is one of the biggest trees, (Ficus elastica) in the Isau Isau Wildlife Reserve. I'm so proud to be acquainted to these two incredible men, namely, Darman (left) and Ursal (right). These two persons have been working tirelessly to preserve rainforests and to protect water resources for years. They inspire me to continuously pursue conservation work.

“I see myself doing this work for many years and would need your kind support to continue many of these important projects to protect our wildlife’s, jungles and biodiversity’s.”

Sumatra is a huge botanical laboratory for me! 
Plants in Sumatra evolve to survive the hardest conditions and protect themselves from predators even compete to attract specific pollinator. Here's one of my favourite flowers that exudes a strong odour, it is called Amorphopallus muelleri and has beautiful pink-white polkadots. The small is so repulsive that it makes one feel like throwing up but I still like this flower regardless.

This plant is trying hard to attract pollinators like carrion beetles and flesh flies that are attracted to the stench of decay and rotten meat as they think that they are perfect places to lay eggs.

Fig. Amorphopallus muelleri, South Sumatra
Sumatra is home to many unique and exotic species of flora and fauna. I am pleased to see this unique fish known locally as Ikan Lidi which means Twig Fish! It is a Freshwater Pipefish (Doryichthys martensii) that can only be found in Sumatra. Interestingly, this species is closely related to seahorses and mostly we know Pipefish living on the saltwater note. The photograph is taken before it was released back to the river.

Fig. Twig Fish, “Ikan Lidi”, Freshwater Pipefish (Doryichthys martensii)
Sumatra is truly an incredible island with millions of amazing species including two species of Great Ape. We were lucky to chance upon a massive apha male Sumatran Orangutan (Pongo abelii) with his huge cheekpads in its natural habitat.

Besides the Pongo abelii, in recent years, scientists have found new species of orangutans known as Tapanuli Orangutan (Pongo tapanuliensis). These orangutans are extremely similar to humans, with 97% of their DNA the same as that of human beings.

Sadly, the population of orangutans have plummeted over the years due to habitat loss and poaching activities Walking around the jungle in search of orangutans is akin to finding a needle in a haystack. As we walked along, we heard a deep calling voice of an orangutan and everyone immediately looked up to the trees to look for the orangutans. We were elated to spot an oranutan eating fruits while sitting on a tree.

This gives us hope and we are so glad to see many people, both locals and foreigners, coming together to help and protect orangutans and their habitats. We believe that we can protect our beloved island and its wildlife with our unified effort.

Fig.  Sumatran Orangutan (Pongo abelii)
I'm so glad finally I can see this Emperor Waxflower blooming in the wild, hanging 15 metres above of me in Sumatra!

Introducing you the  Emperor Hoya (Hoya imperialis)! This species can produce impressive largest individual flowers of the Hoya group which can be around nine cm wide. The species can provide eight to 12 flowers and grows like a vine, often climbing to the top of canopy which makes it a pleasant sight to view.
I am so happy that I can finally take a photograph of this an ancient-looking bird with primitive feather structure in the Leuser ecosystem. Here is a "Wreathed Hornbill (Aceros undulatus). This species is a massive and heavy bird with a large bill, a unique casque that resembles a horn. For some of the species, their wing span is so wide that when they are in flight or are landing, the sound they make resemble the sound of a helicopter or jet.

To support their heavy bills, hornbills have developed strong muscles and have fused vertebrae in their necks, which is a unique feature among birds. This explains why their necks are much thicker than the average bird.
I'm glad that I can take this picture of Binturong (Arctictis binturong) before it disappeared after we released him back to the wild again in Isau-Isau Wildlife Reserve together with Conservation Agency of South Sumatra.

Binturong are truly unique animals, with a face that resembles a Red Panda, a body akin to that of a a small bear. They have prehensile tails like monkey as fifths arm. For the first time I smelled Binturong and they have scent truly like "Buttered Popcorn". They are carnivore but primarily they eat fruits. Binturongs have a special relationship with the strangler fig. Binturongs play an important role in their rainforest habitats by spreading the seeds from the fruits they eat in their droppings. They have enzymes capable of softening the tough outer covering of the fig's seeds. This special relationship makes the binturong a keystone species in the rainforest ecosystem.