Bali is certainly a place where nature lovers feel right at home. Aside from the amazing beaches, Bali has a complex ecosystem and amazing wildlife. The region is rich in colorful fauna and wild animals, some are indigenous only in Indonesia. So if you’re taking one of the region’s nature tours, keep your eyes peeled for any of these critters:
Balinese Crested Duck
Also known as the Crested Runner Duck, the Bali Duck is commonly raised as pets in Indonesia. It has a slender body, long neck and a sizable crest on top of the animal’s head. The Balinese crested ducks are prized for their unique appearance and their eggs. Each one can lay over 200 eggs in one year!
Aside from being excellent egg producers, herders use the ducks as a natural pest repellent. They are usually left in droves in rice paddies. They feast on insects, worms, frogs and snails. Their webbed feet keeps the soil loose for better irrigation.
The Balinese crested ducks are so incredibly mellow that they often march in formation, following flags on long poles!
Balinese macaque (or the Balinese long-tailed monkey) live in troops, which are basically huge monkey families. Many of these troops live around the island in Bali’s lush forests, and have little contact with humans.
However, these monkeys do depend on healthy, thriving forests so it’s been made a point to conserve Bali’s forested areas in order to keep these monkeys happy and healthy. Many Balinese macaque live in the Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud, as the forest is protected from development and offers a secure home for more than four different troops.
Photo credit: Farley Roland Endeman
Also known as the Bali Myna, the Bali Starling is a critically endangered bird with pure white feathers, black tail tips, and a drooping crest. The bird is easily recognizable for its distinctive coloring. The bare skin surrounding its eyes and legs are midnight blue while the bill is a vivid yellow. Unfortunately, this species of bird is illegally poached.
Various breeders are trying to breed the Bali Starling in captivity to increase the population. But the species’ future remains uncertain. Seeing one in the wild is a thrill of a lifetime!
Yet another beautiful but critically endangered animal, the Kuskus is a hairy marsupial that lives on top of trees. The animal has sharp claws and a long, powerful tail, which it uses to swing from branches to branches! The kuskus eats flowers and has a mellow demeanor.
The pride of Balinese wildlife is the majestic Balinese tiger. This cat species in the smallest in all of Panthera Tigris genus. A full grown Balinese tiger is only half the size of a Siberian tiger. The Balinese tiger shares similar markings with the Java tiger.
Unfortunately, the entire population of Balinese tiger was wiped out due to poaching. Just like most Asians, Balinese people loved wearing tiger pelts and tiger relics. Excessive hunting eventually drove the species to extinction. These days, the Balinese tiger is remembered only in dances, folk songs, and old pictures.