8 Native Animals of Indonesia That Need ProtectionIndonesia has wonderful natural scenes. The mega diversity country has hundreds, or even thousands, of endemic fauna that is not found in any other countries. There are around 165 mammal species, more than 397 bird species, more than 150 reptiles, and more than 100 amphibian species that are native animals of Indonesia. Can you imagine how wonderful they are? They can be the part of your journey to nature in Indonesia.
Many of the islands in Indonesia are still untouched by the outside world. Therefore, they are ideal habitat for thousands of native animals of Indonesia. From the rare ape to the smallest buffalo, Indonesia has them all. Unfortunately, many of them are in danger of extinction due to the massive hunting or the unusual breeding system.
Native Animals of Indonesia In Danger of Extinction
KomodoThe giant lizard is one of the nature wonder of Indonesia. A komodo lizard (Varanus komodoensis) can grow up to a length of 3 meters and a weight of 70 kilograms. This makes komodo the world’s largest lizard living today. Komodo is found only in five small islands, namely Komodo, Flores, Gili Padar, Gili Motang, and Rinca island, which are parts of the Komodo National Park.
Komodo is in danger of extinction, despite its status as a protected animal. This is partly associated with its breeding process. Male komodo lizards have to fight each other for a female komodo. In addition, the baby komodo lizards are very vulnerable to predators or even to the bigger komodo lizards.
AnoaThis is one of the native animals of Indonesia as well as the smallest buffalo in the world. Living in the rainforest of Sulawesi island, Anoa is also in danger of extinction due to over-hunting for consumption and collections. There are only around 2.500 anoa living in Sulawesi now, particularly in the Natural Reserve of Lambusango Mountain, Rawa Oapa Watumohai National Park, and Lore-Lindu National Park.
Actually, there are two species of Anoa, namely mountainous anoa (Bubalus quarlesi) and lowland anoa (Bubalus depressicornis). Unfortunately, the latter species has been very rare. It has not been seen in the last few years.
Sumatran TigerHarimau Sumatra live across the forests in Sumatra Island. They are the smallest tiger species but they are severely endangered due to over-hunting and habitat loss. It is estimated that no more than 500 Sumatran tigers live in the wildlife now. Illegal pam plantation also influences the tiger habitat. If the Sumatran tigers are not properly protected, it is estimated that the population will be extinct in 2050.
Java RhinocerosThis is a prehistoric-looking rhinoceros, which is only found in Ujung Kulon National Park, Java Island. The rhinoceros easily distinguished as it has only one horn, while any other rhino species have two horns. Therefore, the Java rhinoceros is also known as single-horn rhino.
The Java rhino is also one of the most endangered native animals of Indonesia, since only about 63 rhinos remain now. Over-hunting becomes the main reason why the endemic animal is endangered. Many antique collectors want to buy the single horn with very expensive prices.
Bali StarlingsThe bird species is only found in the western part of Bali. So, they are far away from tourist destinations. Bali starling (Leucopsar rothschildi) is charactized by clear white feathers with spike on the top of its head, and bright blue patch around the eyes. Bali starlings usually become the part of ceremonies hold in the Temple.
Bali starlings, or Curik Bali, are also endangered, even in their natural habitat. If not properly protected, they may be extinct just like the other Balinese native animal, Bali tigers. According to expert estimation, there are no more than 20 Bali starlings living in the wild now.
CendrawasihAnother bird species that is native to Indonesia is the beautiful Bald Cendrawasih (Cicinnurus respublica). The bird is only found in Waigeo island, Raja Ampat, Papua. It is distinguished with its red and black feathers, yellow nape, bright-green spout, and blue feet. Combination of several colors makes the bird stunning.
Raja Ampat actually has 8 species of cendrawasih, but two of them are only found in Waigeo island. They are paradisaeaa rubra (red cendrawasih) and Respublica diphyllodes (bald Cendrawasih). There is no clear data on the population of these two species, but the environment agencies reported that they were no more tjan 50 birds.
Orang UtanThere are many primate species in the world. As a result, people did not consider them special. However, a rare primate species is found only in Indonesia, namely orang utan. Compared to any other primate species, orang utan has longer, shaggy reddish fur and black eyes. One thing that makes them attractive is the human-like manners. They are known to have better intelligence and longer life expectancy, compared to any other primate species. They can live up to 30 years old!
Orang utan lives in the forests of Kalimantan and Sumatra islands. They stay mostly in the trees. Unfortunately, extensive deforestation puts them in danger of extinction. That is Indonesian government is doing many attempts to protect the primate.
Tarsius MonkeyAnother primate species that is native to Indonesia is Tarsius Bangka monkey. In Bangka Belitung – its native area, the monkey is also known as Mentilin. Tarsius monkeys are distinguished by their reddish brown or brownish-grey furs. They are considered the smallest primate species, as they grow only to the maximum length of 12 – 15 cm.
Another special characteristic of Tarsius monkeys is their big, round eyes, which make them look like owls. Therefore, local people in Bangka Belitung also call them ghost monkey. Interestingly, their eyes do not function properly during the day. According to some sources, Tarsius monkeys are also found in smaller population in Borneo Island and Riau.
In addition to the 8 native animals of Indonesia discussed above, there are so many other animals that are only found in this country. They include Macaca pagensis, a species of ape that is native to Mentawai islands in West Sumatra, angle bird of Halmahera, turtles with snake-like necks (chelodina mccordi), which is native to Rote island, and many others. So, Indonesian citizens should be proud of the country’s rich nature.