Patrolling Indonesia’s natural heritage

Closing ranks on environmental crime

Indonesia: an exceptional natural heritage

Indonesia is an archipelago country located in the transitional zone of the ‘Wallace line’, a faunal boundary line separating the ecozones of Asia and Australia.  As a result, Indonesia is home to a unique mixture and abundance of both Asian and Australasian flora and fauna.

Unique geography favoring biodiversity

Indonesia enjoys 80,000 km of coastline (second longest in the world after Canada) and an archipelago geography of 17,508 islands surrounded by tropical seas.


Indonesia has the third largest forest-lands in the world after Brazil and the Democratic Republic of Congo.  With tropical forests covering 60% of its territory, Indonesia hosts an abundance of natural resources and animal species.


Indonesia has the second highest level of biodiversity after Brazil.

Endemic species

Indonesia tops the global charts for  the number of species unique to its own territory.

Flora and Fauna

Indonesia has its own exclusive range of sea and coastal ecosystems, and the world's greatest diversity of coral reef fish.

Indonesia is home to 17% of all known bird species (1,600 species in total) and:

  • 12 % of the world’s mammal species (second highest worldwide);
  • 35 primate species (fourth highest worldwide);
  • 7.3 of the world’s reptiles (fourth highest worldwide);
  • 38,000 plant species (fifth highest worldwide); 
  • 270 species of amphibians (sixth highest worldwide);
  • 8,000 species of fish;
  • 25,000 species of flowering plants;
  • 250,000 species of insects.

Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous country (about 240 million). With so many people, animals and plant life species sharing the same space, a struggle for resources is unavoidable.  Animals like the tiger, rhinoceros, orangutan, elephant, and leopard were once abundant in Indonesia, but numbers have dwindled drastically.  Some are almost extinct. 

It is estimated that one species becomes extinct every day in Indonesia. This begs the question: what is Indonesia doing to protect its exceptional and vulnerable natural heritage?

Facts and figures courtesy of Indonesia’s Ministry of Forestry

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