15 Fauna of Indonesia
The Fauna of Indonesia consists of a high level of biodiversity due to its vast-size and tropical archipelago make-up. Indonesia divides into two ecological regions; western Indonesia is more influenced by Asian fauna, and the east is more influenced by Australasian. The Wallace Line—in fact, more an area known as Wallacea—notionally divides these two regions. This unique blend of fauna in Indonesia is also affected by the diverse range of ecosystems, including beaches, sand dunes,estuaries, mangroves, coral reefs, sea grass beds, coastal mudflats, tidal flats, algal beds, and small island ecosystems.
Ecological issues have appeared in the nation due to the rapid industrialisation process and high population growth, resulting in lower priority level to preserve the ecosystems. The situation has worsened by illegal logging activity, in which resulting deforestation; while other problems, including high level of urbanisation, air pollution, garbage management and waste water services also contributing to the forest deterioration.
Orangutans are the only exclusively Asian genus of extant great ape. The largest living arboreal animals, they have longer arms than the other, more terrestrial, great apes. They are among the most intelligent primates and use a variety of sophisticated tools, also making sleeping nests each night from branches and foliage. Most of their lives are spent foraging for food in solitude; they are generally not aggressive. Their hair is typically reddish-brown, instead of the brown or black hair typical of other great apes.
The Sumatran Tiger is the smallest of all surviving tiger subspecies. Male Sumatran tigers average 204 cm (6 feet, 8 inches) in length from head to tail and weigh about 136 kg (300 lb). Females average 198 cm (6 feet, 6 inches) in length and weigh about 91 kg (200 lb). Its stripes are narrower than other subspecies of tigers’ stripes, and it has a more bearded and maned appearance, especially the males. Its small size makes it easier to move through dense rain forests. It has webbing between its toes that, when spread, makes Sumatran tigers very fast swimmers. It has been known to drive hoofed prey into the water, especially if the prey animal is a slow swimmer.
The Proboscis Monkey’s lifestyle is both arboreal and amphibious, with its mangrove swamp and riverine environment containing forest, dry land, shallow water allowing wading, and deep water requiring swimming. Like other similar monkeys, the Proboscis Monkey climbs well. It is also a proficient swimmer, often swimming from island to island, and has been picked up by fishing boats in open ocean a mile from shore. While wading, the monkey uses an upright posture, with the females carrying infants on their hip. Troops have been filmed continuing to walk upright, in single file, along forest trails when they emerge on land, the only non-human mammal, with the exception ofgibbons and giant pangolins, known to use this form of locomotion for any length of time.
Sun Bear (Ursus malayanus)
Unlike other bears, the Sun Bear’s fur is short and sleek. This adaptation is probably due to the lowland climates it inhabits. Dark black or brown-black fur covers its body, except on the chest, where there is a pale orange-yellow marking in the shape of a horseshoe. Similar colored fur can be found around the muzzle and the eyes. These distinctive markings give the Sun Bear its name. The Sun Bear does not hibernate, and, as a result, it can reproduce year-round. The offspring reachsexual maturity after 3-4 years and may live up to 30 years in captivity. Being a primarily nocturnal creature, the Sun Bear tends to rest during the day on lower limbs not far above the ground. Because it spends so much time in trees, the Sun Bear can sometimes cause damage to private property. It has been known to destroy coconut palms and cacao trees on plantations
The birds of paradise
The birds-of-paradise are members of the family Paradisaeidae of the order Passeriformes. The majority of species in this family are found on the island of New Guinea and its satellites, with a few species occurring in the Moluccas and eastern Australia. The family has forty species in 13 genera. The members of this family are perhaps best known for the plumage of the males of most species, in particular highly elongated and elaborate feathers extending from the beak, wings or head. For the most part they are confined to dense rainforest habitat. The diet of all species is dominated by fruit and to a lesser extent arthropods. The birds-of-paradise have a variety of breeding systems, ranging from monogamy to lek-based polygamy.
The family is of cultural importance to the inhabitants of New Guinea. The trade in skins and feathers of the birds-of-paradise has been going on for two thousand years; and, the birds have been of considerable interest to Western collectors, ornithologists and writers as well. A number of species are threatened by hunting and habitat loss.
The Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) is a large species of lizard found in the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, andGili Motang. A member of the monitor lizard family (Varanidae), it is the largest living species of lizard, growing to an average length of 2 to 3 metres (6.6 to 9.8 ft) and weighing around 70 kilograms (150 lb). Their unusual size has been attributed to island gigantism, since there are no other carnivorous animals to fill the niche on the islands where they live.
The Indonesian speckled carpetshark, Hemiscyllium freycineti, is a species of bamboo shark in the family Hemiscylliidae. It is found in the shallow ocean around West Papua, Indonesia, but was formerly believed to be more widespread. This was due to confusion with H. michaeli, a species described from eastern Papua New Guinea in 2010. Compared to that species, the spots on H. freycineti are smaller, more rounded or slightly elongated in shape (versus relatively large, edged and more leopard-like in H. michaeli), and tend to darken at regular intervals forming 8-9 vertical bars on the body and tail. Furthermore, the large black spot behind the pectoral fin is more clearly defined in H. michaeli than in H. freycineti. Confusingly, some books with illustrations and photos labelled as H. freycineti actually show H. michaeli. H. freycineti reaches a length is up to 46 centimetres (18 in). It is nocturnal, hiding in reef crevices during the day.
The only member of the monotypic genus Macrocephalon, the Maleo is endemic to the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. It is found in the tropical lowland and hill forests, but nests in the open sandy areas, volcanic soils or beaches that are heated by the sun or geothermal energy for incubation. (There are also megapode species that use fermenting compost to incubate their eggs.) The Maleo is monogamous, and members of a pair stay close to each other all the time. Its diet consists mainly of fruits, seeds, ants, termites, beetles and other small invertebrates. Since 1972, this species has been protected by the Indonesian government. Due to ongoing habitat loss, limited range, high chick mortality rates and overhunting in some areas, the Maleo is evaluated as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
The Bali Starling is restricted to the island of Bali in Indonesia, where it is the island’s only endemic vertebrate species. (An endemic subspecies, the Bali Tiger, has been extinct since 1937.) The bird was discovered in 1910, and in 1991 was designated the fauna symbol of Bali. Its local name is jalak Bali . There are 2 remaining locations on Bali where the birds exist in the wild: the West Bali National Park; and Bali’s small island of Nusa Penida
Dholes once ranged throughout most of South, East and Southeast Asia, extending from the Tien Shan and Altai Mountains and the Primorsky Krai southward through Mongolia, Korea, China, Tibet, Nepal, India, and south-eastwards into Myanmar and Indochina, Thailand, Malaysia, Sumatra and Java. The dhole is highly social animal, living in large clans which occasionally split up into small packs to hunt. It primarily preys on medium-sized ungulates, which it hunts by tiring them out in long chases, and kills by disemboweling them. Unlike most social canids (but similar to African wild dogs), dholes let their pups eat first at a kill. Though fearful of humans, dhole packs are bold enough to attack large and dangerous animals such as wild boar, water buffalo, takin, and even tigers.
Indonesian Mountain Weasel
The Indonesian Mountain Weasel is found on the islands of Sumatra and Java in Indonesia. They live most often in mountainous tropical rainforest areas. Because it is so genetically close to the Siberian Weasel, it is assumed that their lifestyles and behaviors are much alike. They seem to be solitary animals, only keeping company when they are very young. There aren’t any listed predators for the weasel, but they are extremely fierce and probably wouldn’t be worth the effort for many major predators.
Anoa come in two types, the lowland anoa (Bubalus depressicornis), and the mountain anoa (Bubalus quarlesi). The anoa is a species of pigmy buffalo, and they are the smallest of the wild cattle. Both species are currently listed as endangered, being threatened by clearing of the forests where they live and being hunted for their meat, horns, and hides. Anoa are only found on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia. The lowland anoa is found in swampy forests, and the mountain anoa is found in higher-altitude forests. Unlike most cattle, anoas don’t live in herds but, rather, live solitary or in pairs and only will meet in groups when a female anoa is about to give birth. They are active most often in the morning and evening when it is still relatively cool, and they rest in the shade when the temperature rises in the afternoon. They will also bathe in mud or water to keep cool.
The babirusas are a genus, Babyrousa, in the pig family (Suidae) found in Wallacea, or specifically the Indonesian islands of Sulawesi,Togian, Sula and Buru. All members of this genus were considered part of a single species until recently, the babirusa, B. babyrussa, but following the split into several species, this scientific name is restricted to the Buru babirusa from Buru and Sula, whereas the best-known species, the north Sulawesi babirusa, is named B. celebensis. The name “pig-deer” has sometimes also been used in English, and is a direct translation of the Indonesian babi-rusa.
The dugong swims about at a modest speed of around 10 km/h, but reportedly able to swim quite fast. They are also known to emit a whistling type sound, which is believed to happen if the dugong feels threatened. They feed on sea grasses and some types of algaes. This makes them aquatic herbivores, however reports of crabs have been found in the stomachs of dugongs. They usually feed in shallow water around two to five metres in depth.
The Dingiso is currently (2003) listed as a vulnerable species. It is endemic to Indonesia. It was first discovered by an Australian named Dr Tim Flannery in 1987. He roamed the mountains in New Guinea and discovered four new varieties of tree kangaroo. He named this Dendrolagus mbaiso, referring to it as “It’s a beautiful thing, and no biologist had ever seen one before.” Flannery describes the Dingiso as “none was as unusual as Dingiso and none such an interesting evolutionary and culturual story to tell.”
The Asiatic elephant is found in parts of India and Southeast Asia, including Sumatra and Borneo. Asian elephants were formerly widely distributed south of the Himalayas, throughout Southeast Asia, and in China as far north as the Yangtze River. This species once roamed through much of the Asian Continent south of the Himalayas, extending into China and south to the islands of Sumatra and Borneo.
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Siamang (Hylobates syndactylus)
Siamang (Hylobates syndactylus)The Siamang (Hylobates syndactylus) is an endangered primate. “Hylobates” is literally translated to “dweller in the trees”, and that description fits these animals quite well. Because they are native to tropical rainforests, they are endangered due to these rainforests being cleared at an alarming rate. Siamangs are found in Malaysia and Indonesia, with dwarf versions of the animals found on the islands in Sumatra. They spend most of the time in the trees of the rainforest, even sleeping on tree branches, and don’t touch ground often. During any given day, a family of Siamang can travel up to a mile (1.6 km) on their search for food. One of the most interesting things about the siamang is the way they communicate. Their throat pouches help add volume to their calls, and these can be heard over 3 miles (4.8 km) through the jungle. They call to other family groups, establish territories, and participate in vocal warfare. Mated pairs are also known to “sing” to each other, and each pair seems to develop a unique “song” to communicate with one another.
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