21 Endemic Animals Spread in the Indonesian Archipelago

Endemic Animals – Sinaumed’s must have known that our country Indonesia is an archipelagic country that has thousands of islands with biodiversity, one of which is an endemic animal. Endemic animals are the same as endemic animals, which are basically native animals that live in a certain area. Yep, these endemic animals can be said that they are natural animal species that can only be found in a certain area and cannot be found in other areas.

Since our country has thousands of islands with biodiversity, one of which is an endemic animal, it means that there are also many endemic animals. It is undeniable that even on one island there will be dozens to hundreds of endemic animals that have certain uniqueness and characteristics. Wow, that’s interesting !

Then, what is the endemic animal? What are the endemic animals in the big islands of Indonesia? What is the proper way of preservation so that these animals do not become extinct in the future? So, so that Sinaumed’s understands it, let’s look at the following review!

What are Endemic Animals?

According to Kurniawan (2016), the term “endemic” in the animal world is a symptom experienced by certain organisms so that they can be unique to a particular geographic location, starting from a particular island, country, or ecological zone. Basically, endemic animals are animals that naturally can only be found and live in a certain place, alias cannot be found anywhere else.

Endemic animals certainly play an important role in the world’s ecosystem, because if their existence becomes extinct, the world’s ecosystems, including the area concerned, will also become extinct. Bearing in mind that along with the times as it is today, humans are starting to exploit the potential of nature barbarically. Even though this actually affects the survival of animals that are in nature, so it is tantamount to acting as a threat to endemic animals.

In fact, our country has a high level of endemism, namely more than 165 species of endemic mammals, 150 species of reptiles, 397 species of birds, and 100 species of amphibians spread throughout the Indonesian archipelago. Not infrequently even on an island, there are dozens of endemic animal species that have their own characteristics.

Endemic Animals on the Island of Sumatra

1. Sumatran tiger

As the name implies, this endemic animal which has the Latin name Panthera Tigris Sumatrae is a native endemic species from the island of Sumatra and still survives to this day. The main characteristic of the Sumatran tiger is its body size which is smaller than other types of tigers in general, and has dark black stripes.

Since this type of tiger is an endemic animal, the Sumatran tiger only lives on the island of Sumatra, which usually lives in lowland forests and mountain forests. Until now, the total population is only about 400 individuals. To avoid extinction due to poaching, most Sumatran tigers are placed in Nature Reserves and National Parks. Then, around 250 tails live in various zoos scattered around the world.

The Sumatran tiger is also included in the list of protected animals by the Indonesian government, based on Law Number 5 of 1990 concerning Conservation of Living Natural Resources and their Ecosystems.

2. Sumatran rhino

Sinaumed’s needs to know that as one of the endangered animals, there are 5 species of rhinoceros in the world, 2 of which live in Indonesia, namely the Sumatran rhino and the Javan rhinoceros.

The Sumatran rhinoceros with the Latin name Dicerorhinus sumatrensis is the only Asian rhinoceros that has two horns. Unfortunately, now its existence is becoming extinct due to poaching for its horn. It is believed that the horn of the Sumatran rhinoceros can be used as a traditional medicine to cure various diseases, although there is actually no scientific research related to this belief. Plus, the internal structure of rhino horn is similar to human fingernails and hair, so it clearly doesn’t have any healing properties.

The population is currently only less than 80 individuals and the average is spread across the Bukit Barisan National Park, Gunung Leuser National Park and Way Kambas National Park. The Sumatran rhino’s habitat is mostly in hilly areas near water, tropical rain forests, mountain moss forests, to forest fringes.

Luckily, on March 24 2022, a Sumatran rhinoceros named Rosa in Way Kambas National Park, Lampung Province, managed to give birth to a female child. This birth certainly adds to the Sumatran rhino population in the national park.

3. Sumatran orangutans

In Indonesia, there are three species of orangutan as endemic animals, namely the Sumatran orangutan, the Bornean orangutan and the Tapanuli orangutan. These three species are included in the list of protected animals because the forest where they live is always the target of illegal logging.

The Sumatran orangutan with the Latin name Pongo Abelii is smaller in size than the Bornean orangutan, which is about 4.6 feet tall and weighs only 200 pounds. Sumatran orangutans actually have more social behavior compared to Bornean orangutans, who prefer to gather together to eat some fruit near trees.

Currently, there are 13 pouches of the orangutan population which of course are located on the island of Sumatra, of which only three of these pouches have around 500 individuals and seven pouches have 250 individuals. On May 31, 2022, a 3-year-old Sumatran orangutan named Kaka was handed over by Bogor residents to the Sumatra Natural Resources Conservation Center, to be returned to its natural habitat.

4. The Sorrowful Monkey

Kedih monkeys are native primates, aka endemic animals found on the island of Sumatra, especially in North Sumatra. This sad monkey with the Latin name Presbytis Thomasi has a calm expression and is a shy animal. The distribution of these primates is in the Aek Nauli forest area to the Rawa Singkil Wildlife Reserve in the Province of Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam.

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Naturally, kedih monkeys live in groups of about 10 individuals, which include 1 male and 6 females, the rest are their children. The kedih monkey has a distinctive behavior, namely the strong vocal sound of each group. So it can also be said that the sad monkey will recognize its group members based on the vocal sound.

5. Sumatran Elephant

The Sumatran elephant with the Latin name Elephas Maximus Sumatranus is smaller than the African elephant. Most Sumatran elephants are bred in Way Kambas, Lampung, but some are bred in Tangkahan, Langkat. According to a survey in 2007, the remaining population of Sumatran elephants is around 2,400-2,800 individuals, but their numbers are decreasing due to poaching which has been rampant lately.

Endemic animals on the island of Java

1. Javanese tiger

The existence of this Javan tiger can be called extinct because it has been officially announced by the International Union for Conversation Nature . This type of tiger with the Latin name Panthera Tigris Sondaica was declared extinct in the 1980s. In fact, the last Javan tiger seen was in Meru Betiri National Park, East Java, and even then in 1976.

The extinction of this endemic animal was due to barbaric illegal hunting. Even though in the 1990s there were many reports regarding the appearance of this Javan tiger, further verification could not be carried out. Then in 1998, at Gadjah Mada University (UGM), a national seminar was held which agreed that researchers should conduct a review of claims of extinction of this endemic animal. This is because a lot of evidence has been found related to the “return of the Javanese tiger”.

2. Javan rhino

In fact, the existence of the Javan rhinoceros does not only live on the island of Java, but also in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand. However, in Vietnam in 2010, the population of this endemic animal was declared extinct. Meanwhile on the island of Java, especially in Ujung Kulon National Park, the presence of the Javan rhino is also limited.

In 2017, there were only 67 of them spread across the Ujung Kulon Peninsula. The distribution area is in accordance with its habitat which is in the form of lowland areas with sufficient sources of water and food.

3. Javan Leopard

This endemic animal with the Latin name Panthera Pardus also has a local name, namely panther. When compared to other leopards, this endemic animal has a smaller size and sharp senses of sight and smell. Unfortunately, the Javan leopard is currently on the verge of extinction due to poaching.

In 2008, the population of the Javan leopard was only 250 individuals. Most of the population can be found in Mount Gede Pangrango National Park, West Java.

4. Javanese eagle

Does Sinaumed’s know that the Indonesian state symbol, Garuda, is the embodiment of the Javanese eagle? Actually, the large Garuda bird does not exist in the real world, because it is a mythological animal. However, we can see the Garuda bird because it is the embodiment of the Javanese eagle.

Unfortunately, this endemic animal which is also the incarnation of the Indonesian state symbol is even more rare to find. In fact, this endemic animal with the Latin name Nisaetus Bartelsi is unique in the form of a protruding crest of about 2-4 strands with a length of 12 cm. Especially when it flaps its wings strongly, this Javanese eagle will have the ability to fly high so that it looks dashing and manly.

5. Javanese slow loris

On January 6, 2022, a Javan slow loris with the Latin name Nycticebus Javanicus was released to the Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park. Previously, these endemic animals were found by people in residential areas. For public awareness regarding the preservation of endemic animals, this should be appreciated.

The Javan slow loris is a type of primate that lives nocturnally, aka actively looking for prey at night. The distinctive feature of this primate is the presence of poison glands under the armpits, functioning as a defense against predators who want to eat them.

Currently, most Javan slow lorises are scattered in national parks, nature reserves or wildlife reserves. This is because this endemic animal has been included in the list of endangered animals so it must be protected, especially with the provisions of Law Number 5 of 1990 concerning Conservation of Living Natural Resources and their Ecosystems.

Endemic animals on the island of Borneo

1. Bornean orangutan (born orangutan)

The Bornean orangutan with the Latin name Pongo Pygmaeus lives on the island of Borneo, which includes the areas of West Kalimantan and Sarawak (Malaysia). Its habitat is a tropical rain forest area that fits the conditions on the island of Borneo, especially its habit of making nests from leaves in dense trees.

Actually, the morphology of the Bornean orangutan is not much different from the Sumatran orangutan, which is a diurnal (active during the day) and arboreal (living in trees) animal. The body of this endemic animal is generally covered with brownish-red hair with a larger head and a high mouth position. In male orangutans, they have bumps on both sides of their faces.

Unfortunately, this endemic animal species has been in endangered status since 1994. Therefore, the government stipulated Law Number 5 of 1990 concerning Conservation of Living Natural Resources and their Ecosystems to protect Bornean orangutans from extinction, especially those caused by forest destruction and poaching.

2. Hornbill Board

This hornbill bird with the Latin name Buceros Bicornis , when an adult can measure up to 160 cm in length. Usually, the female hornbill is smaller than the male hornbill. To distinguish between the two, it is enough to look at the color of the eyes, namely blue eyes for female birds while red for male birds.

The main foods of these endemic animals are insects, worms, snails, amphibians, and crabs. Not infrequently they also eat fruit, one of which is nutmeg and drupa. If the size of the prey is larger, it will first hit a tree branch and soften it in the beak, then swallow it.

Unfortunately, this endemic bird is increasingly becoming extinct due to the rampant logging of trees and large-scale land clearing. Moreover, the belief that its meat can be consumed as a traditional medicine has made the poaching of the hornbill increasingly barbaric.

3. Proboscis Monkey

Does Sinaumed’s know that this endemic animal is actually the mascot of the Dunia Fantasi (Dufan) amusement park located in Jakarta? Yep, with the characteristic big nose, the proboscis monkey is also nicknamed the “Dutch monkey” by the locals. The proboscis monkey does not make a special nest for its place to sleep, so to rest it only looks for trees around the banks of the river.

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The existence of proboscis monkeys is still scattered in the forests of Kalimantan Island, especially in Tanjung Puting National Park. But even so. proboscis monkeys are also vulnerable to extinction, because mangrove forests have been increasingly damaged lately. What’s more, the existence of forest fires certainly threatens the proboscis monkey population as endemic animals to Indonesia.

4. Mahakam Pesut Fish

The Mahakam dolphin, aka Irrawaddy Dolphin, is said to be a true river dolphin, because it lives in rivers, aka fresh water. In fact, there are several differences between Mahakam dolphins and dolphins, starting from the shape of the snout, the shape of the head, to their natural habitat.

In Kalimantan, the mahakam dolphin has always been a “play” in local folklore and legends. Unfortunately, currently this endemic animal population is increasingly extinct, due to pontoon activities, both from oil palm plantation companies and coal mines.

Endemic animals on the island of Sulawesi

1. Maleo bird

Maleo birds usually live in lowland tropical forests in Central Sulawesi and Gorontalo, especially in the Lore Lindu National Park area, the population of this endemic animal is around 320 individuals. The characteristics of the maleo bird include a bulge on the head, large egg size, and do not like to incubate the eggs.

Unfortunately, illegal logging , forest fires, and poaching have caused the maleo bird to become an endemic animal that is threatened with extinction. Given that this bird does not incubate its eggs, it is vulnerable to being attacked by predators, one of which is monitor lizards and lizards. Maleo birds usually lay their eggs in the ground, where lizards can smell them easily.

2. Sulawesi Bear Cuscus

This endemic animal with the Latin name Ailurops Ursinus likes lowland tropical forest habitat, for example in the Butung Islands, Muna Islands and Peleng Islands. The distinctive feature of the Sulawesi bear cuscus is that its tail can be used to hang on to or wrap around tree trunks when it is looking for food.

As with other endemic animals, the Sulawesi bear cuscus is also threatened with extinction due to poaching and illegal trade. Not only that, the tropical forest where he currently lives has suffered a lot of damage due to efforts to clear land for agricultural areas and residential areas.

3. Tarsiers

The tarsier is an endemic animal that has a unique body shape, in the form of a tarsal bone that extends and forms the wrist, so that it can jump 3 meters from one tree to another. Tarsiers are nocturnal animals, so they will carry out activities in the form of hunting for prey at night. Its prey targets are scorpions, small birds. bats, and small reptiles.

The rampant activity of keeping tarsiers as pets is also the cause of this endemic animal becoming extinct. In fact, the tarsier is also included in the category of the 25 most endangered primates in the world. In fact, tarsiers never like being touched by humans , you know , so often they will react in the form of banging their heads against a tree as a suicide attempt.

4. Deer Pig

Endemic animals included in this type of wild pig usually live around Sulawesi Island, starting from Togean Island, Sula Island, Malenge Island, and others. The habitat of the deer pig is an area of ​​tropical rain forest and is a herbivorous animal. The body shape of a deer pig is almost similar to a pig but smaller in size. There is a striking difference between babirusa and pigs, namely the babirusa has long fangs that penetrate its snout.

The rise of wild boar trade in deer hunting for its meat has made this endemic animal into the rare category and must be protected by the government and the local community. Not only that, the existence of illegal deforestation is also the cause of the scarcity of the pig deer population.

Endemic Animals in Papua Island

1. The Golden Mantle Tree Kangaroo

It turns out that the presence of kangaroos does not only exist in Australia , you know , but also in the Land of Papua, namely the golden coat tree kangaroo. The distinctive feature of this endemic animal is the color of its golden yellow fur along the neck, cheeks and legs.

In 2021, the XX National Sports Week (PON) was held in Papua and made this endemic animal its mascot. Actually, the existence of this golden mantle tree kangaroo was only known to the public in 1990 by Pavel German on Mount Sapau. Unfortunately, this endemic animal is threatened with extinction due to forest destruction and poaching which affects the population in nature. Even the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) also stated that this type of kangaroo is included in the critical and endangered category.

2. Bird of Paradise

Sinaumed’s must have known that this bird known as the bird of paradise is a well-known icon from the Land of Papua. Yep, this bird of paradise is known because it has red feathers with colorful patterns on its head. Its habitat is mostly found in dense highland forests.

Uniquely, when the breeding season comes, the male bird of paradise will show off its beautiful feathers accompanied by dances and sounds like singing in the trees. This is done to attract the attention of female birds of paradise. Unfortunately, the illegal hunting of birds of paradise, which is still rife, has made this endemic animal endangered. The poaching targets the beautiful feathers which are used to decorate hats.

3. Pig-snouted Turtle

This endemic animal with the Latin name Carettochelys Insculpta has a turtle-like shape, because of the shell on its body. The thing that distinguishes it from turtles is the long nose like a pig’s snout. The habitat of these labi-labi is usually in rivers, swamps and brackish water which are spread across the island of Papua. In fact, not infrequently, this endemic animal is also found in northern Australia.

Unfortunately, these pig-nosed turtles are rare animals and must be protected by Minister of Environment and Forestry Regulation Number P.106/2018. This is because of the rampant illegal trade and even smuggled for commercial purposes.

So, that’s a review of the endemic animals that are spread across the Indonesian islands. Most of these endemic animals are included in the list of protected animals by the Indonesian government, based on Law Number 5 of 1990 concerning Conservation of Biological Natural Resources and their Ecosystems. As future generations, we must play a big role in efforts to preserve these endemic animals