Geography, Fauna and Flora of Bali
Landscape, Plants and Animals
As a part of Indonesian archipelago, Bali stretches 3.2 km east of Java. The island is quite small compared to other parts of the country with only a land of 5,630 square km. Bali has diverse landscape with its highest peak is Gunung Agung, 10,308 feet above the sea level and its lowest is the exotic paradise beaches that welcome tourists every day. Between the tallest mountain and the sea-sand areas, there are deep forests, flowing rivers, alluvial slopes and green rugs of crop fields.
On the south area of Bali, the area is a cultivated plain. There are terraces of paddy fields, carpets of gardens that grow coffee, onion, and other spices. At the highland, Bali is streamed with rain forests, ancient banyan trees, leeches, butterflies, pines, orchids and other tropical lush. At the western part, you will discover the ‘virgin‘ marine life and wild forest preserved in West Bali National Park.
Moving to north, Bali consists of coastal areas such as Singaraja. The north’s low lands are dry and unsuitable for crops cultivation. However, the grasses and clusters of palm trees give that distinct savannah landscape.
Not all of the Bali beaches are white sands. Fortunately, the white sandy beaches can be seen in tourist spots like Kuta, Sanur, Nusa Dua and Tanjung Benoa. These coastlines are surprisingly made up only 8% of all the coastal areas in the island. The unique beauty of Bali can be seen by how the mangrove and coast are set next to each other. For instance, the mangrove forest makes a beautiful background for Sanur beach.
Bali is a region rich of wild animals and fauna, some are the indigenous species that you may only find in Indonesia. It’s kind of a place where creatures find a comfort!
As a tropical island, Bali is blessed with varieties of plants. Starting from the huge and tall banyan trees that you can sight almost anywhere in the villages; to the abundant tamarind, a herbal plant often stocked in local’s kitchen for drink or cooking. Dozens of coconut and fig trees can also be easily found in the island.
Flame tree and acacia can be sighted along the coastlines of Bali’s southern area. The tangled roots mangrove is also Bali’s native plant that becomes an eco-tourism destination. Cacao and coffee beans are among many other exported goods from the land. The gardens of Balinese botanic features dragon fruit and chilli peppers plus some local herbs and spices including turmeric, ginger, etc.
The floral families are just as varied as the plants. There are some visually appealing flowers that are not only good for medicines but they’re also edible! Ferns and aroids are quite common in the island. other various types of flowers include the behonias and corylines.
Bougenville and water lilies can be seen floating in ponds. Jasmine and frangipani are two among fabulous flowers that become the aroma of Bali. You will also see these flowers‘ extracts in oil essentials or aromatherapy candles.
Orchids can be seen along the roads, in the garden or just outside a house. The lush presence of these beautiful blossoms is also the reason why temples, offerings and statues are always decorated with flowers. During ceremonial events, you will also see flowers are worn behind the ear of the females. Pretty!
No, not just the monkeys! In fact, Bali has an impressive array of animals that occupy the land!
Bali’s birds are impressive. Some names you will be familiar with include: the cuckoos, sea eagles, fowl, sparrows and sandpipers.
Out in the forests, monkeys are everywhere swinging on trees and barking deers may not be visible on sight if you’re not getting deep into the jungle.
Lizards can also be seen on rooftops (the rooftops of anything!) that it seems to live harmoniously with humans. Beetles and insects could be the annoying native animals that bother you if you don’t put on your mosquito repellent.
On the rather remote areas, Balinese tigers are still found roaming although sighting one may be rare. Other native animals of Bali include civets and squirrels. In Gua Lawah, there lies a mystical bat cave where these colonies of bats become the main point of interest besides the temple itself.
In the rural areas and rice fields, you will notice various animals for livestock including pigs, ducks, cows and buffaloes – which complete the postcard picturesque of farm life in Bali. For tourists, be ready to hear roosters that give morning call. The sound can be pretty loud.
Macaque – the long-tail monkeys can be seen in Ubud forest as it is their secure home to keep them away from the forest development. There are more Macaque troops that live in the wild forest and have little contacts with humans.
Bali underwater is also one of the best marine life in the world. Dolphins, sharks and sun fish are just some of the fauna found in Bali seas. As you go diving, expect to see small reef fishes, sea turtles corals and crustaceans (some of which are likely to be in the seafood market at Jimbaran).
Bali remains rich in wildlife however, 15% of these animals are the refuges inside Bali National Park. These are a few names of Bali native animals enlisted as endangered species:
– Bali tigers – almost extinct due to uncontrollable animal pouching. It is the pride of Bali and this majestic cat species have smaller size than Siberian tiger.
– Bali startling, bird species popularly known as Jalak Bali. It has lovely white feathers with its tail in black color. It is easy to recognize Jalak Bali as the color is very distinctive. Jalak Bali is almost extinct due to the illegal poaching.
– Kuskus – hairy marsupial that swings on trees besides the monkeys. Kuskus has claws and powerful tail. Apart from its appeal, Kuskus eats flowers.