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Endangered Indonesian Animals

The Indonesian archipelago has many ecosystems. About 17 percent of animal species of the world exist here. It is estimated that 300,000 animal species inhabit in its many ecosystems. It is home to 515 species of mammals, more than any other nation, and 1539 species of birds. Fifty percent of all the fish species found worldwide live in its marine and freshwater systems.

But, Indonesia even has the most number of endangered animals in the world. The red list of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has included 147 species of mammals, 91 species of fish, 114 bird species, and 26 invertebrate species found in Indonesia in the category of endangered animals.

Here, we discuss about some endangered Indonesian animals:

Orangutan: Only 4,000 of them were found alive in the wild on the island of Sumatra in 2010. They are mainly poached for selling them as pets. But, they can be used as pets only for about five years as they become too large and too wild for most people to handle when they grow up.

Komodo dragon: It is the largest lizard found on the earth, and is considered to be a distant relative of dinosaurs. They live in small islands across the archipelago. Loss of habitat due to volcanic activity, deforestation, and tourism has affected their existence. Recently, their habitat has been protected under law. For example, the Komodo National Park is providing a safe habitat to them across five islands, which are natural habitats of these creatures.

Javan Rhinoceros: They are critically endangered with only fewer than 50 of them alive in 2010. All of them are in captivity. Their preservation has gained prime importance among the conservationists as their number is declining rapidly.

Gibbon: They are native creatures of western Indonesia. They are a victim of human cruelty. Illegal trade in their body-parts has brought them under the protection of law in 1925. Approximately 3,000 Gibbons are hunted every year for domestic wildlife trade.

Although trade in wild animals is a serious threat to many animal species in Indonesia, poaching of these endangered animals continues as ever before. According to an estimate, 27,000 turtles are killed every year in Bali for preparing a food delicacy called "satay". The shells of these turtles are used to make cheap ornaments for the tourists.

Moreover, 115,000 parrots are trapped every year in the wild, and 2,500 Javan ebony langurs are hunted each year for illegal trade and meat. In some parts of the country, particularly Java, singing bird competitions are held. This leads to trapping of the birds, and they are subjected to cruelty.

The animals are even subjected to cruelty while transportation. About 95 percent of animals sold in the market are trapped directly from the wild, and more than 20 percent of them die while transportation.

Therefore, major conservation efforts are required for the endangered Indonesian animals. The government of Indonesia, along with the wildlife organizations, is deeply concerned about their safety, and is taking effective measures for their protection.

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