Conservation news

Podcast: Mongabay explores Sumatra, a land like no other

One of the roughly 800 Tapanuli orangutans known to exist. Image by Andrew Walmsley.

  • Sumatra is the only place in the world where tigers, elephants, rhinos and orangutans all live together in the same expanse of rainforest. Its plant life is also extremely diverse.
  • For a new edition of the Mongabay Explores podcast series, we will explore the island’s incredible biological richness and environmental challenges.
  • On this first episode, host Mike DiGirolamo speaks with Sumatran winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize Rudi Putra and biologist Greg McCann, who provide a fascinating look at the incredible biodiversity of this, the world’s sixth largest island.
  • A new episode will air approximately every two weeks, subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast via your podcast provider of choice to hear them all.

“Sumatra is like a fossil relic of rare species…a giant, rhino horn-shaped island blanketed in the richest rainforest you can imagine…there’s just nothing like it,” biologist Greg McCann says on this episode of the podcast.

The sixth largest island in the world and the second largest economy in Indonesia, Sumatra is the only place in the world you can you find tigers, elephants, rhinos and orangutans all living together in an incredibly rich landscape of rainforests.

But that’s changing rapidly, and this special biweekly series of Mongabay Explores dives into what’s special about Sumatra, its amazing biodiversity heritage, and what’s at stake as forests fall for uses like oil palm plantations, mines, and hydropower dams. We’ll also discuss positive trends for conservation and solutions that meet human and nonhuman needs.

Listen here:

Host Mike DiGirolamo speaks with two guests: Rudi Putra, a legendary biologist who won the Goldman Environmental Prize for his inspiring conservation work in Sumatra and who now serves as chairman of the Leuser Conservation Forum, plus Greg McCann, a biologist and Assistant Professor at Taiwan’s Chang Gung University, whose People Resources and Conservation Foundation team is exploring and documenting the incredible richness of Sumatra, so it can be better conserved.

View all of Mongabay’s news coverage from Sumatra here, visit Rudi Putra’s organization Leuser Conservation Forum’s website to learn more about their work, and Greg McCann’s organization PRCF has multiple projects in Indonesia described here, and details on the project in Dolok Simalalaksa/ Hadabuan Hills he discusses are here.

A new episode will air approximately every two weeks, subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast via your podcast provider of choice to hear them all.

We now offer a free app in the Apple App Store and in the Google Store for this show, so you can have access to our latest episodes at your fingertips.

Rudi Putra in Sumatra. Photo courtesy of the Goldman Environmental Prize.

You can subscribe to the Mongabay Newscast on Androidthe Google Podcasts appApple PodcastsStitcherTuneInRSSCastboxPocket Casts, or listen via Pandora or Spotify. You can also listen to all our episodes via the Mongabay website here on the podcast homepage.

Listen to the previous Mongabay Explores series about a looming salamander pandemic in North America here, here, and here.

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Banner image: One of the roughly 800 Tapanuli orangutans known to exist. Image by Andrew Walmsley.