Java - Natural Environment

Natural Environment

The natural environment of Java is tropical rainforest, with ecosystem ranged from coastal mangrove forest on north coast, rocky coastal cliff on southern coast, low-lying tropical forest, to high altitude rainforest on slopes of mountainous volcanic regions in the interior. The Java environment and climate gradually altered from west to east; from wet and humid thick rainforest in western parts to dry savanna environment in the east, it corresponds to the climate and rainfalls in these regions.

Originally Javan wildlife supports rich biodiversity, numbers of endemic species of flora and fauna had flourished; such as the world's rarest rhino Javan rhinoceros, Javan Banteng, Javan Hawk-Eagle, Javan Peafowl, Javan Silvery gibbon, Javan lutung, Java mouse-deer, Javan Rusa, and Javan leopard. With over 450 species of birds and 37 endemic species, Java is a birdwatchers paradise. There are about 130 freshwater fish species in Java.

However Java is also home of large numbers of humans. With an estimated population of 114,733,500 in 1995, Java contains well over half of Indonesia's population. Since ancient times people have opened the rainforest, altered the ecosystem, shaped the landscapes and created rice paddy and terraces to support the growing population. Javan rice terraces have existed for more than a millennia, and had supported ancient agricultural kingdoms. The growing human population have put severe pressure on Java's wildlife, rainforests were diminished and confined in highlands slopes or isolated peninsula. Some of Java endemic species are critically endangered, some even already extinct; Java used to have its own endemic tiger subspecies that went extinct in mid-1970s. Java now has several national parks to protect the remnants of Javan wildlife, such as Ujung Kulon, Mount Halimun-Salak, Gede Pangrango, Baluran, Meru Betiri and Alas Purwo.

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