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9 Rare Animals Native to Indonesia

Updated on September 24, 2019

Occupying only 1.3% of the world's land surface, Indonesia is one of the world's richest nations in terms of its biodiversity. It is an archipelago made up of about 17,000 islands which allow unique ecosystems containing a large number of diverse species to develop, some of which are endangered.

Hopefully this article will bring awareness to the animals' status and more efforts can be done to save and conserve them.

1. Komodo Dragon

Although these days they might be found in some zoos, komodos were originated only from four small islands in the Komodo National Park, in the southern part of Indonesia. These gigantic lizard can reach up to a whopping 3 meters (10 feet) in length, and weighing around 100 kg (200 lbs). The World Animal Foundation estimates there are only 6000 Komodos left in the wild.


2. Orangutan

Orangutan lives in Borneo Island which encompasses both Indonesia and Malaysia, as well as Sumatra Island in Indonesia. A century ago there were probably more than 230,000 orangutans in total, but the Bornean orangutan is now estimated at about 104,700 based on updated geographic range (Endangered) and the Sumatran about 7,500 (Critically Endangered).

3. Birds-of-Paradise

Known to the locals as Cendrawasih, this colourful bird can be found in eastern Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and eastern Australia. There are 41 Cendrawasih species in Indonesia, with 37 species live in Papua. Unfortunately, its beauty leads to the high demand for poaching. Nowadays Cendrawasih are categorized as endangered species.

4. Sumatran Tiger

Sumatran tigers are the smallest surviving tiger subspecies and are distinguished by heavy black stripes on their orange coats. Sadly, only fewer than 400 tigers are left today. This is due to rapid deforestation and rampant poaching.

5. Tarsius

To be fair, tarsius is a genus that consist of many similar-looking species: With eyes so big, they're bigger than the animals' brain. All members of Tarsius are found on Sulawesi or nearby Indonesian islands. The majority of Tarsier species are now endangered or threatened, and some are designated critically endangered. Threats include habitat destruction and fragmentation, hunting, agricultural pollutants and human disturbance. Tarsiers are very shy animals that prefer to stay away from human contact.


6. Anoa

This bovine relative, also known as midget buffalo, is endemic to the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia. The number of anoas is unknown, but it is estimated that there are less than 2500-2500 mature animals.

7. Maleo

There's no info on the current population, but as of 2005, it is estimated that only 4,000-7,000 breeding pairs currently exist in the wild and these numbers are rapidly declining.


8. Silvery Gibbon

The Silvery Gibbon is endemic to the Indonesian island of Java, where it inhabits undisturbed rainforests up to an altitude of 2,450 m. It is listed as Endangered on the 2009 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. There are less than 2,000 silvery gibbons in the wild on eight sites that are considered to be genetically viable for the continuation of the species. There are also a dozen small, non-viable populations.

9. Rote Island Snake-Necked Turtle

The species is on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list and is categorised as critically endangered. The species can no longer be found in its natural habitat in Rote Island in East Nusa Tenggara. The existing ones are owned by Wildlife Conservation Society Indonesia Program (WCS-IP) after Wildlife Reserve Singapore returned a number of them to Indonesia.


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