Indonesia boasts the second highest level of biodiversity in the world. It is one of the 17 megadiverse countries and has two of the world’s 25 biodiversity hotspots, 18 World Wildlife Fund’s “Global 200” ecoregions and 24 of Bird Life International’s Endemic Bird Areas. It also contains the world’s third largest area of rainforest after the Amazon and Africa’s Congo Basin. These forests include species like the endangered orangutans and critically endangered Sumatran tigers and rhinos. Along with a high diversity of species, the country also has significantly high levels of endemism.
Some incredibly interesting species can be (or have been) found across the archipelago: there was the longest snake ever discovered (10 meters) in 1912; the Mudskipper fish which can walk, hop and climb on trees and breathe on land; the Rafflesia Arnoldi (also called the Corps flower) which is the largest flower weighing around 7 kg; the Komodo dragon (on Komodo Island) which is a kind of a lizard that can grow up to 3m long and is an ancient species found only on five islands in Indonesia.
The main factors affecting biodiversity loss and species extinction in Indonesia are habitat degradation and fragmentation, landscape changes, overexploitation, pollution, climate change, alien species and wildlife trading. Deforestation is the main factor of the threatened wildlife in Indonesia because forest is the natural habitat for most of the wildlife. Forest conversion into palm oil plantations, industrial production forests, and mines becomes serious threats for the survival of rare species including the orangutan, Sumatran tiger, and Sumatran elephant. Wildlife trading is also of considerable threat. More than 95% of the traded wildlife in the markets are caught wild instead of bred in captivity. And on top of this, more than 20% of the traded wildlife die in vain due to inappropriate transportation and handling. Many protected and threatened species are openly traded in Indonesia and the more endangered the species is, the more expensive the price.
Bali’s flora and fauna (plants and animals) resemble those of Java and other neighbouring Indonesian islands.
Indonesia is known for its primeval rainforests and wealth of natural resources including some 15,000 plant species. Some teak grows on Bali, and the giant banyan (waringin) trees are held sacred by the Balinese.
Tigers are found in the west, and deer and wild pigs are numerous.
Bali also forms part of the world-famous Coral Triangle, the area with the highest biodiversity of marine species on the planet. For example, in this area alone over 500 reef-building coral species exist, which is about 7 times as many as in the entire Caribbean.
Bali hosts a diverse reef coral fauna, with a confirmed total of 406 reef-building (hermatypic) coral species. As a volunteer in Bali, you will get the chance to explore its wide range of marine flora and fauna as you scuba dive and help protect its amazing array of coral and marine life.
Join our reef restoration mission in Bali! Empower local communities to bring new life to the northeast coast. As part of this reef restoration programme, help construct and deploy artificial reefs, dive up to 8 times a week to monitor progress, and be a part of restoring the beauty of Bali’s reefs.
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