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Site map: Home>About Bali
Flora and Fauna

Bali has an interesting collection of animal and plant life. The rice terraces are the most common sight in everyday Bali, particularly in the heavily populated and extravagantly fertile south. Balinese gardens are a delight. The soil and climate in Bali can support a huge range of plants, and the Balinese love of beauty, and the abundance of cheap labour, means that every space can be landscaped. The style is generally informal, with curved paths, a rich variety of plants and usually a water feature. You can find almost every type of flower in Bali, though some varieties, such as hydrangeas, are restricted to the cooler mountain areas. Orchids are a special attraction, and orchid fanciers should see the collection at the botanical gardens near Bedugul. The temperate weather of the mountain also allows pines to grow.

Wood plants like teakwood grow in gorges. Gorges, which are very numerous in Bali owing to the ash structure of the soil, are favourite places for tropical trees such as Banyan tree (ficus elastica), or Pule tree (alstonia scholarish), two of the sacred trees of Bali. The latter is used in particular for the making of the sacred mask. Other trees, such as the Pangge Baya or the Ebony are getting rare as they are the favored material for woodcarving.
Along the rivers grows bamboo, a multipurpose material. One makes pipes, rope, baskets and even food from bamboo.

The shores of Bali are abundant in animal and floral species. The mangrove forest contains all sorts of big and small crabs, shrimps and fishes. The coral reefs contain colorful fish which have long been exported abroad. These fish, and crab, are now disappearing, as has the giant turtle, which used to come by the thousands onto Balinese shores. It is now prohibited to sell and export its shell. On both straits that flank the island, though, there still remain many dolphins.

Bali is situated in the Asian zone of Indonesia, characterized by big carnivore mammals, such as the tiger or smaller ones such as black panthers or the leopard. The most famous one, perhaps, was the Bali Tiger (Panthera tigris balica), the most dangerous carnivore that lived in paradise. The last one was shot in 1937. There are also big herbivores such as the deer and the wild buffalo. Bali's cattle consists of the tamed wild-ox and the Banteng (Bos Sondaicus), the wild version of which can still be found in the National Park.

One species of birds particularly endangered is the Bali Starling, of which less than fifty are surviving in their natural habitat. Riversides also have a rich bird life where one can also find Kepodang (Oriole), Kipasan (Fantail), and Kutilang (Pynocnotus), some of which are good singers, who sometimes join the great choir of crickets.