The Wallace Line
The conditions for a diverse flora and fauna are very good in Indonesia, a country located in Asia according to itypejob. The climate is temperate and the soils of volcanic origin are suitable for the growth of many plant species. Due to the size of the country, the flora and fauna in Indonesia are different. In one part of the country (the western part) live animals that find a home on the Asian continent. In the eastern part there are many animals of the Australian continent. So the animal world is very different. This limit is also known as the Wallace Line. This line was named after a scientist named Alfred Russel Wallace. The line runs in the south between Bali and Lobok and in the north between Borneo and Sulawesi. For example, marsupials live on Sulawesi and further to the east that do not exist to the west of it – on the Asian side. You can see exactly where this dividing line runs on this map.
Why are there so many different animals?
You have to imagine that parts of Indonesia like Java, Sumatra, Kalimantan and Bali were connected to the Asian continent a long time ago. New Guinea, however, was part of the Australian continent. The large mammals of Asia such as elephants or tigers do not exist on the Australian continent. Instead, more bird and insect species and many reptiles live here. You will only find tree kangaroos in Western New Guinea. The Sumatran tiger lives in Sumatra and there in a national park. Sumatra is also famous for the orangutans. These are the largest tree dwellers on earth and have remarkably long arms. Since this species of monkey is now also threatened, they are protected in a national park. The Sumatran elephant is also threatened.
Different island – different animals!
Wild bulls called Banteng have a home on the island of Java. The Java rhinoceros also lives on Java and is threatened with extinction. These rhinos are unfortunately hunted by poachers, as their horns are believed to have healing properties, especially in Chinese medicine. There are various laws that are designed to prevent poaching, but unfortunately animals still fall victim to poachers.
Kalimantan (Borneo) and Lesser Sunda Islands
On the island of Kalimantan, which we mostly call Borneo, there are freshwater dolphins and also proboscis monkeys.
The longest monitor lizard in the world, the Komodo dragon, lives on some of the Lesser Sunda Islands, for example on Komodo and Flores. It’s only there and nowhere else to be found. Such animal species are called endemic. The Komodo dragon grows up to three meters long and weighs up to 170 kilograms. It reaches an age of over 100 years. Komodo dragons look a bit like dragons. They often eat carrion – after they have previously bitten the animal to death themselves. Mainly small reptiles and birds are hunted, but also mane deer and wild boar.
A very special type of cat lives on the island of Sulawesi, the civet cat. This digests coffee beans and excretes them. A special and very expensive coffee is then obtained from this. The Tarsier monkey can also be found on Sulawesi, the smallest monkey in the world that weighs only 120 grams. He also survived in a national park on the island of Sulawesi.
Another monkey lives on Sulawesi and smaller neighboring islands: the crested macaque. It’s called that because it has a long head of hair on its head. Crested macaques have black fur, sleep in the trees of the rainforest, live in groups of five to 25 monkeys and like to eat fruit.
On the Australian side you can discover a colorful and diverse bird life. This includes, for example, the bird of paradise, which – as the name suggests – is one of the most beautiful birds in the world.
Breathtaking underwater worlds
Since Indonesia consists of many islands, there are also many species of fish. Turtles, sharks and rays swim in the waters of Indonesia. Do you know Nemo, the little anemonefish? You will also discover these in Indonesia, as well as stone fish or trigger fish or the moray eels, which look a bit scary. With its 3000 species of fish, the world of fish is so diverse that many divers keep coming back to enjoy the beauty of this wonderful underwater world. By the way, you can also find 75 percent of all coral species here. And where there are corals, there is also the animal world that loves corals.
Destruction of the rainforests
But not only the animal world is different. You will also find very different plants on Bali than on Lombok, although the two islands are very close to each other. The diversity of flora and fauna in Indonesia is great, but human interventions are increasingly causing the populations to decline. The rainforest in particular suffers from humans. In Sumatra, for example, half of the rainforest has already been destroyed. The rainforest on Java is almost completely destroyed. This destruction again affects the world climate. The greenhouse gases are increasing. At the same time, the habitat of many animals such as the rhinoceros, tigers, elephants and orangutans is being destroyed.
Danger to nature
Oil palms are often grown in monocultures and poisons are used that contaminate the soil. The short-term economic gain leads in the end to the destruction of the livelihood of animals and plants and in the end of humans too. Often, however, fires destroy huge forest areas that previously suffered from excessive drought. Then the fire can spread unhindered and completely destroy huge forest areas.
Giant plants and swamps
In some parts of East Sumatra or South and West Borneo there are large swamp and freshwater swamp forests. The coasts are defined by mangrove forests. Conifers grow in the mountains. Indonesia is also famous for its variety of orchids. The giant rafflesia, a plant with flowers up to one meter in diameter, grows in Sumatra.