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Indonesia is located between the Indian and Pacific oceans and is the largest island country in the world. There are 17,000 islands that makeup Indonesia, and more than 261 million people in the country, making it the 4th most populous country and the most populous Muslim-majority country. The official language is Indonesian, but there are more than 700 regional languages that are recognized!
Indonesia supports a large amount of biodiversity and is 70% covered in forest. The country has the second highest number of endemic species, which includes 36% of its bird species, 39% of its mammal species.
In addition to an impressive variety of wildlife, Indonesia is also home to the world’s largest flower, the Rafflesia Arnoldi which weighs up to 15 pounds and its petals grow up to 1.6 feet long and 1 inch thick!
Animals you can see on a wildlife holiday in Indonesia
Six of the seven sea turtle species are found in Indonesia and are exciting to see on a wildlife tour. Because of its unique location, Indonesia provides important migration routes and foraging grounds for these turtles. Each of the species of sea turtle is considered vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered according to the IUCN Red List.
Threats to the sea turtles include illegal trade, exploitation, by-catch, and habitat loss.
Best place to see sea turtles in Indonesia
There are many places you can see sea turtles in Indonesia, but Bali contains the highest concentration. You can often see them while snorkeling from one of Bali’s beautiful beaches, however, we recommend you keep your distance and do not touch them. This can be tempting, but in an effort to keep wildlife wild, it’s important to respect their space.
Consider joining IVHQ in Bali at this exciting sea turtle conservation wildlife tour. You’ll work alongside other volunteers to help protect these vulnerable animals from the many threats they face.
Komodo dragons are a species of lizard that can only be found in Indonesia. They are the largest living lizard species, which can grow up to 10 feet long and weigh up to 150 pounds! Their size enables them to practically dominate the ecosystems of their habitats. They hunt birds, small mammals, and invertebrates using the toxic proteins that secrete from two glands in their lower jaw.
Komodo dragons are considered a vulnerable species on the IUCN Red List.
Best place to see Komodo dragons in Indonesia:
Komodo dragons can be found on only a few islands throughout Indonesia including Komodo, Rinca, Flores, and Gili Motang.
Travel with Mount Travel Sobek and have a chance to see these magnificent giants in East Indonesia.
Considered some of the funniest looking monkeys, the proboscis monkey is characterized by its long nose. They are endemic to the island of Borneo and found in the Indonesian, Brunei, and Malaysian parts of the island. They have reddish-brown fur and are one of the largest monkey species in Asia.
Proboscis monkeys are usually found in groups containing only one male and a few females and their young. There have been some groups containing only males. Proboscis monkeys communicate with various sounds including honks, roars, and snarls.
Best place to see proboscis monkeys in Indonesia:
Proboscis monkeys prefer the habitats of mangroves and riverine forests. They can also be found in swamp forests, rubber forests, and plantations, steep cliffs, all within at least a kilometer of a water source. Rather than seeking them out in the wild, we recommend visiting a conservation area where your chances are higher of spotting one, in a safe environment for them.
This bird species is endemic to the island of Sulawesi and is recognized by its black coloured feathers, yellow facial skin, reddish iris, red-orange beak and salmon underparts. They have a casque and grey-blue feet.
They maleo lays very large eggs nearly five times larger than a chicken’s. They lay each egg in a deep hole which they cover to allow for incubation. Once they hatch, the young can fly and are immediately independent.
Maleos are considered endangered on the IUCN Red List and are threatened by egg poaching and agriculture. Their habitats are shrinking and areas have been cleared by forest fires.
Best place to see maleos in Indonesia:
Maleos prefer the habitats of lowlands and hill forests, as well as beaches, lakeshores, and sandy soil. They are endemic to Sulawesi meaning they cannot be found elsewhere.
The silvery gibbon is an endangered species endemic to the island of Java in Indonesia. It is estimated that less than 2500 mature individuals are remaining in the wild.
These primates are characterized by their silvery, blue-grey fur, curved fingers, long forelimbs, and the absence of a tail. Silvery gibbons are not large primates, averaging around 18lbs at full size.
Female silvery gibbons give birth around every three years, and the young will stay with the family group until it is about 8-10 years old.
They are some of the most endangered primates, largely impacted by the loss of habitat, illegal pet trade.
Best place to see silvery gibbons in Indonesia:
The largest population of gibbons is at Mount Halimun Salak National Park, while other small populations are found in Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park where there is a center that rehabilitates ex-captive individuals.
The Javan Rhinoceros is a critically endangered member of the Rhinocerotidae family. It is close in size to the black rhino and has a short horn in comparison to other rhino species.
Javan rhinos were once widely spread throughout Indonesia, with traces on the islands of Java and Sumatra, as well as through Southeast Asia, India, and China. There is only one known population that is wild, and none in captivity.
The biggest threat to Javan rhinos is poaching, largely for their horns, which can be sold for nearly $30,000 USD per kilogram on the black market. The horns are valued in traditional Chinese medicine. They are also threatened by habitat loss, disease, and inbreeding depression.
Best place to see Javan rhinos:
Javan rhinos are primarily found in Ujung Kulon National Park on the island of Java. Because of the critically endangered status, we highly recommend that you do not seek out these rhinos. It is estimated less than 70 individuals are remaining at this park.
Join a unique opportunity to care for rescued animals in Indonesia with Ecoteer.