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Indonesia is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania between the Indian and Pacific oceans. It has over seventeen thousand islands, including Sumatra, Java, Sulawesi, and parts of Borneo and New Guinea.
Firstly, Indonesia is the largest nation in Southeast Asia (by size) and the fourth most populous country on earth.
Secondly, it’s a geological wonderland on the Equator, boasting hundreds of volcanoes that meet at the Indian and Pacific Oceans, a culturally diverse and exotic landmark. Additionally, more than 20 million people visit Indonesia annually because they want to see its famous beaches, (active) volcanoes, and fantastic landscapes.
Long associated with Bali, Indonesia is comprised of much more to experience. From the friendly locals to cuisines and opportunities to encounter orangutans and other unique wildlife in the wild, it offers visitors a once-in-a-life experience!
Furthermore, it comprises five main islands: Sumatra, Java, Borneo (known as Kalimantan in Indonesia), Sulawesi, and New Guinea; two major island groups (Nusa Tenggara and the Maluku Islands) and sixty smaller island groups.
Culture & History
Indonesia is centrally located along ancient trading routes between the Far East, South Asia, and the Middle East. This resulted in many cultural practices being strongly influenced by many religions, including Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, and Islam, vital in the major trading cities.
Indonesia has a tropical climate and is hot and humid throughout the year. The primary rainy season runs from October to April, with the dry season lasting from May to September.
Generally speaking, the weather gets drier the further east you travel. July and August are the busiest months in Indonesia when hotel prices are the highest. Rainy season months tend to be of better value, but December, January, and February are best avoided due to heavy rain and floods.
Some of the many natural attractions and the wildlife they home…
Mount Bromo, Java
Mount Bromo is an active somma volcano and part of the Tengger mountains in East Java, Indonesia. About 137 species of birds, 22 species of mammals, and four species of reptiles are protected in the national park surrounding the volcano. Examples include besra, green peafowl, Javan rusa, Sumatran dhole, crab-eating macaque, marbled cat, and Javan leopard.
Lake Toba, Sumatra
Lake Toba was once the site of the largest volcanic eruption on Earth in the last two million years, about 74,000 years ago. It is the world’s largest crater lake and the largest lake in Southeast Asia and one of the deepest in the world. Home to many species of fish and birds.
Mount batur and Mount Agung, Bali
Mount Batur is an active volcano located at the center of two concentric calderas northwest of Mount Agung on the island of Bali. A location of esteemed beauty and wildlife. One of two volcanoes. Mount Agung is an active volcano in Bali, Indonesia, southeast of Mount Batur volcano, also in Bali. It is the highest point on Bali, and dominates the surrounding area, influencing the climate, especially rainfall patterns.
Nusa Penida is an island southeast of Indonesia’s island of Bali. It includes the neighboring small island of Nusa Lembongan and twelve even smaller islands. Nusa Penida is rich in corals and home to protected Manta rays and Sunfish colonies. Famous for bird-watching enthusiasts.
Indonesia’s forests represent 10% of the world’s remaining tropical rainforests, accommodating thousands of wildlife species. It’s estimated that there are more than 300,000 wildlife species.
This means that 17% of the world’s wildlife live in Indonesia, even though Indonesia’s land is only 1.3% of the world’s land mass. Indonesia has the most mammals in the world (515 species) and is inhabited by 1,539 bird species. How amazing is that? We have selected five incredible animals to encounter in Indonesia. Take a look…
#1 Borneo Elephants
The Borneo elephant, also called the Borneo pygmy elephant, is a subspecies of Asian elephant that inhabits northeastern Borneo in Indonesia and Malaysia. Specifically to Indonesia, they may be located in the Indonesian state of East Kalimantan. Generally, they are found in lowland forests, which are seasonally inundated with floodwaters in the Kinabatangan.
The origins of the elephants have been debated; The group used genetic data analysis and computational modeling to study the history of the elephants and found they might have migrated between the Sunda Islands in Southeast Asia during low sea levels.
It is estimated that only around 1,500 Borneo elephants are left in the wild. This is, unfortunately, due to deforestation from logging and plantations, making this the biggest threat to the elephant’s survival.
#2 Sumatran oragutans
The Sumatran orangutan is almost exclusively arboreal, meaning they live primarily in the trees of tropical rainforests.
Sumatran orangutans are found only on the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Sadly just over 13,000 Sumatran orangutans are left in the wild, putting the species in critical danger of extinction.
A Sumatran Orangutan’s influence on its environment is very prevalent: If orangutans were to disappear, so would several tree species, especially those with larger seeds. The tropical rainforests where Sumatran orangutans live are also home to other spectacular species, including rare Sumatran tigers, Sumatran elephants, and Sumatran rhinoceroses ( all species already functionally extinct in the wild).
#3 Komodo Dragons
The Official National Animal of Indonesia. The Komodo dragon, which holds the distinction of being the largest species of lizard in the world, is the official animal of Indonesia.
It is not even clear how many dragons there are. A most recent study concluded that there were 3,000 in the wild, but other estimates range as high as 6,000. Besides Komodo Island, the lizards are found on Rinca, Gili Motang, and Nusa Kode islands
#4 Javan Rhinoceros
The Javan rhinoceros, also known as the Sunda rhinoceros or lesser one-horned rhinoceros, is a very rare member of the family Rhinocerotidae. They may also be compared by size; they are the smaller and lighter relative of the greater one-horned rhino.
Unfortunately, the Javan Rhino is the rarest rhino species, with 74 animals surviving only in Indonesia. Therefore, it is essential to only seek out these animals ethically, through sanctuaries or NGOs. In the wild, they can only be found in one place globally; all Javan Rhinos live in a single site on the island of Java.
#5 Pygmy Tarsier
The pygmy tarsier/ mountain tarsier is a nocturnal primate. It is in central Sulawesi, Indonesia, in an area with a lowland forest. They inhabit montane cloud forests in the central Sulawesi Mountains at 1800 to 2200 m. They often inhabit the lower canopy among trunks of saplings and the forest floor. The Pygmy tarsier is Indonesia’s smallest primate species.
The biggest threat to this species is habitat loss and degradation. Hunting and fires set by humans are also threats and, together with logging, will probably continue in the future. Transmigration and local clearance are other threats. Pygmy Tarsiers are protected. Because they have an important impact on their natural environment, they regulate and control insect communities and have an effect on local food webs.
Comprising thousands of islands, the Southeast Asian nation of Indonesia is home to vast swathes of untamed natural beauty and more than 50 diverse national parks teeming with rare and incredible wildlife. We have selected the top four national parks rated for their beautiful flora and fauna.
Komodo National Park
They were founded as a national park in 1980. To protect the Komodo dragon. It is the world’s giant lizard. It was later dedicated to protecting other species. This included marine species. In 1991 the national park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Komodo National Park is selected as one of the New 7 wonders of the natural world.
Mount Leuser National Park
This biosphere reserve and the national park covers a vast tropical rainforest in northern Sumatra with various ecosystems.
Stretching into the northern province of Aceh on Sumatra, Gunung Leuser National Park is home to Sumatran orangutans, Thomas-leaf monkeys endemic to the Leuser rainforests, bands of macaques, hornbills, sun bears, unique butterflies and the last remaining populations of Sumatran elephants, tigers, and rhinos among many other species.
This rainforest is a biodiversity treasure. A dense tree canopy covers it, but oil palm plantations threaten it.
Baluran National Park
Baluran National Park is located in East Java, Indonesia. Mainly consisting of savanna, lowland forests, mangrove forests, and hills, the park offers beautiful landscapes, home to many species.
Ujung Kulon National Park
Ujung Kulon National Park is at the westernmost tip of Java, in the Banten province of Indonesia. It includes the volcanic island group of Krakatoa. The park is home to several rare animals, most notably the Javan rhinoceros and the Javan gibbon, which are endemic to the area. Other animals include langurs (leaf monkeys), muntjacs (barking deer), chevrotains (mouse deer), crocodiles, green turtles, green peafowl, and jungle fowl.
Authentic Indonesia: Eco tours
Rickshaw Travel: Eco Indonesia
Summary of Wildlife in Indonesia
From the culture, food, and history to the diverse wildlife from beaches to jungles, Indonesia’s islands are a must-visit for any nature enthusiast.
Did you enjoy this blog about wildlife in Indonesia? Are you interested in encountering wildlife in Southeast Asia? If yes, refer to the wildlife of Vietnam, the Philippines, and Thailand to plan your next trip or learn more about these beauitful locations around the globe!
Thank you for reading Wildlife in Indonesia.
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