While the exact population of Sumatran elephants is unknown, they likely number only between 700 and 1,000, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, an environmental network of government and civil society organizations that sets the conservation status of species. It’s estimated that elephant numbers fell by more than 70 percent during the past decade, largely from habitat loss that has squeezed them into smaller areas and cut off their traditional migration routes.
About one-third of the Leuser Ecosystem is protected as the Gunung Leuser National Park. The rest is either forest land with restrictions on use or APL, the acronym denoting land that can be developed. Many areas with the richest biodiversity—the lowland rain forests and peat lands—are outside the national park.