Wildlife of Java, Indonesia

31st January - 3rd February 2020

Gunung Gede Park, Java
A lagoon in Gunung Gede National Park, Java, Indonsia

From Sulawesi I headed back across the Wallace Line to the island of Java on the asian side. This is the most developed of the Indonesian islands with the captial Jakarta and in fact its the most densly populated island in the world. There are none-the-less some wild areas remaining and I spend a couple of days exploring one of these... Gunung Gede National Park.

Once again I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of wildlife managing to cling on in this isolated fragment of rainforest. It was the weekend when I arrived and the National Park is a popular day out for the residents of Jakarta three hours drive away so it was pretty crowded but I still managed to see some impressive wildlife.

Javan Langurs (Trachypithecus auratus) in Gunung Gede
Javan Langurs (Trachypithecus auratus)

Green Crested Lizard (Bronchocela cristatella) in Gunung Gede National Park Leaf Insect (Phyllium sp.) in Gunugn Gede National Park Black-striped Squirrel (Callosciurus nigrovittatus) in Gunugn Gede National Park
Green Crested Lizard (Bronchocela cristatella)
Leaf Insect (Phyllium sp.)
Black-striped Squirrel (Callosciurus nigrovittatus)

The park is very hilly making carrying heavy camera gear hard work, it poured with rain for much of my stay and was packed with local visitors. But there was plenty of shelter, the people were friendly without being obtrusive and I thoroughly enjoyed my visit.

The rain brought out a variety of invertebrates and amphibians including the highly endangered Indonesian Bleeding Toad and there were also plenty of birds, the highlight being a beautiful pair of rare Javan Trogons escavating a new nest hole.

Hose's Frog (Odorrana hosii) in Gunugn Gede National Park Indonesian Bleeding Toad (Leptophryne cruentata) in Gunugn Gede National Park, Sulawesi
Hose's Frog (Odorrana hosii)
Indonesian Bleeding Toad (Leptophryne cruentata)

I stayed at the Tangko Inn Resort, a chaotic 20 minute drive through manic, bussling streets from the park entrance. It was an excellent choice, set in pleasant, mature gardens with very friendly, helpful staff who were even prepared to get up and make me a cooked breakfast at 4:30am!

The local guides in Indonesia were all impressive and Indra Ferdinand (fecote@yahool.com) on Java was the best of the lot. He has an excellent knowledge of all the wildlife and worked tirelessly to find me birds, frogs and leaf monkeys. I would strongly recommend him to anyone visiting the island.

Flame-fronted Barbet (Psilopogon armillaris) in Gunung Gede National Park Mountain Tailorbird (Phyllergates cucullatus) in Gunugn Gede National Park Javan Trogon (Apalharpactes reinwardtii) in Gunung Gede National Park
Flame-fronted Barbet (Psilopogon armillaris)
Mountain Tailorbird (Phyllergates cucullatus)
Javan Trogon (Apalharpactes reinwardtii)

Overall, my trip to Indonesia far exceeded my expectations. The masses of people, deforestation and building developments were as bad as I expected but the National Parks seemed well looked after, teemed with wildlife and the local guides were excellent. It was a lot more expensive than I expected, but visiting these remaining fragments of amazing tropical ecosystem shouldn't be cheap. Paying visitors provide a vital life-line to prevent them being destroyed and lost forever. If you get the chance, I'd definitely recommend a trip to at least one of these enchanting, exotic islands... before its too late.

Mammal Species in Java

Javan Langur (Trachypithecus auratus)
Javan Surili (Presbytis comata)
Javan Small-toothed Palm Civet (Arctogalidia trilineata)

Black-striped Squirrel (Callosciurus nigrovittatus)
Black Giant Squirrel (Ratufa bicolor)
Indian Muntjac (Muntiacus muntjak)(heard)

'Trumpet-horned' Weevil (Curculionidae sp.) in Gunung Gede National Park
'Trumpet-horned' Weevil (Curculionidae sp.)