Indonesia is a tropical archipelago in Southeast Asia that stretches from the Indian Ocean to the Pacific and is made up of provinces including Sumatra, Java and western New Guinea. It encompasses a land area of three quarters of a million square miles and a maritime area of nearly eight million. Indonesia is made up of over 17,000 islands of which 6000 are inhabited and hosts miles of white sand beaches along coastal plains and rises into mountainous, heavily forested highlands. Indonesia is a rich and diverse land with multiple cultures, languages and religions with the majority of the 234 million people being Muslims.
Indonesia has vast tracts of wilderness areas and has the second highest level of bio-diversity behind Brazil. The flora and fauna of Indonesia is a combination of Asian and Australian species owing to a mating of New Guinea and Australia in the distant geological past. The western islands host Asiatic species while in the eastern regions, evidence of Australian influences are apparent. Each island has its own distinctive sub-species and many animals that are indigenous to one will be absent in another close neighboring island.
If there is a symbol that best represents Indonesia, it is the lovable Orangutan
that is found in Sumatra but not in Java. The elephant and tapir are found only in Sumatra and the rhino and banteng
, a wild ox, is only found in Java. On the island of Komodo in the East Nusa Tengara, lives the world's largest living lizard, the Komodo Dragon. These holdovers from prehistoric times can reach a length of up to 12 feet and have been residents of the island for a half a million years.
Primates, reptiles and bird life are well represented on the islands and on many you'll find leopards, tigers and bears.