Flora and Fauna in Bali PDF Print E-mail

 The tropical climate, with its biannual change of seasons, makes volcanic Bali a very fertile land. Many different kinds of tropical plants grow well in the cool highlands and hot, dry coastal areas. The average humidity of 60% during the dry season and 100% during the rainy season influences fertility of the many types of tropical flora, which grow in Bali.

The daily life of the Hindu Balinese, which is strongly characterized with a diverse range of rituals, makes plentiful use of the fauna and flora available on the island. Leaves and coconuts of the palm tree, bananas, fruits, and a diverse range of flowers are some examples of the flora that is used frequently in daily life. Fruits, such as the salak and the jeruk (citrus), are popularly used as offerings, and are known throughout the archipelago as a specialty of the fruits cultivated in Bali.

Aside from the areas near the seashore surrounding the island, the regency of  Jembrana in West Bali is the largest provider of coconuts with its palm tree plantations, whereas many kinds of fruits and flowers are grown in the mountain areas such as Bedugul, Bangli and northern Badung. Tree trunks, found in most areas of Bali, are used as building material. For example, the kwantitan (jackfruit tree) is generally used for the construction of buildings in Bali.

Various kinds of animals are also used in Balinese rituals. Cocks, hens, pigs, and chicks are most often used in a variety of daily rituals, whereas animals that take a long time to grow are used for higher level rites, like the Tawur Bhuta Yadnya which happens in cycles of more than five years. Tigers, for example, are only used in the Eka Dasa Rudra ritual, which occurs every hundred years.

Bali is known for the Jalak Bali, which is extremely rare because of its very low population growth. Its habitat, the West Bali National Park, is increasingly affected by pollution, and poachers and smugglers have also caused the population of the Jalak Bali to fall. It is of deep concern that, unless it receives proper protection, the Jalak Bali may shortly become extinct in its natural habitat.