Below you can find a complete list of Sulawesi animals. We currently track 127 animals in Indonesia (Sulawesi) and are adding more every day!
Sulawesi, also known as Celebes, is one of the four Greater Sunda Islands. It is a large island that is governed by Indonesia. Sulawesi borders Borneo to the west, the Philippines to the north, Maluku to the east, and Flores and Timor to the south.
Sulawesi is a mountainous island. It has only a few lowland areas and consists largely of montane rain forests. A montane rainforest is a forest that grows on mountains above 3,300 feet. These are also known as “cloud forests” because they collect water from mist and fog on the uplands.
The Official National Animal of Sulawesi
Sulawesi does not have its own national animal. The national animal of Indonesia is the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis). This large reptile is a member of the monitor lizard family. The Komodo dragon is the world’s largest lizard. It can grow up to 10 feet and weigh more than 200 pounds.
Komodo dragons are the apex predators in most ecosystems where they live. Their size has made them fearless, and they have attacked humans.
Komodo dragons are classed as “vulnerable” for conservation status. In 1980, the Indonesian government established Komodo National Park to help conserve them. There are many Komodo dragons in captivity.
Where To Find the Top Wild Animals in Sulawesi
The island of Sulawesi has six national parks and nineteen wildlife reserves. Sulawesi has three marine protected areas.
Some of the best places to see tarsiers, macaques and maleos are the Tangkoko National Park. Lore Lindu National Park is a good place to see tarsiers, cuscus, and anoas. Bogani National Park conserves nesting sites for maleos and other rare birds.
The ocean waters surrounding Sulawesi are home to some of the most biodiverse coral reefs in the world. They provide feeding areas for barracudas, dolphins, whales, eagle rays, manta rays, marlins, and sea turtles.
The Most Dangerous Animals in Sulawesi Today
The most dangerous animal in Sulawesi is the Komodo dragon. Its size and strength make it dangerous to predators, and its venomous bite makes it dangerous to humans.
Sulawesi has venomous snakes, and it is also home to deadly pythons. In 2017, a python swallowed an adult male whole. When villagers killed the snake and opened it, they found the man’s body inside.
Endangered Animals in Sulawesi
Unfortunately, many animals in Sulawesi are endangered. Hunting, the illegal pet trade, and deforestation have caused habitat loss and population declines among many of its unique animals. Without serious intervention, some of them will become extinct.
- Anoa: Also known as the midget buffalo, the anoa looks like a miniature version of the water buffalo. Sulawesi has two species, the mountain anoa (Bubalus quarlesi) and the lowland anoa (Bubalus depressicornis). Both are classed as endangered.
- The bear cuscus (Phalangista ursina) is an endemic marsupial that lives in the island’s mountain rainforests. This sweet-looking animal resembles a sloth. Frequent targets of the illegal pet trade, these gentle mammals are classed as vulnerable.
- The crested black macaque (Macaca nigra) is a monkey that forages on the coastline and in the trees of Sulawesi. This intelligent, sociable monkey is critically endangered.
Because of its unique animal life, Sulawesi is considered part of the global biodiversity hotspot known as Wallacea. This hotspot includes several islands, of which Sulawesi is the largest. It is also home to the highest number of endangered birds and mammals in this hotspot.
Sulawesi’s Unique Wildlife
Sulawesi is home to many beautiful animals that only exist on the island. The Wildlife Conservation Society Indonesia Program has been working with the government of Indonesia to protect the last remaining macaques, anoas, maleos, and other rare, precious animals of Sulawesi.
Sulawesi Animals List
- Asian Palm Civet
- Barn Owl
- Black Widow Spider
- Common Buzzard
- Fire-Bellied Toad
- Flying Squirrel
- Glass Lizard
- Glow Worm
- Golden Oriole
- Green Bee-Eater
- Honey Bee
- King Cobra
- Long-Eared Owl
- Masked Palm Civet
- Monitor Lizard
- Pond Skater
- River Turtle
- Slow Worm
- Stick Insect
- Tree Frog
- Water Buffalo
- Water Dragon
- White Tiger
- Wild Boar
- Wolf Spider
Animals in Indonesia (Sulawesi) FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What Animals Live in Sulawesi?
Sulawesi is noteworthy for the many endemic animals that call it home. An “endemic” animal is unique to the country it lives in and can’t be found anywhere else. Many of Sulawesi’s animals only live there.
- There are 127 mammals in Sulawesi. Of these, 79 are endemic.
- Sulawesi has 350 native birds, and about 50 of them are endemic.
- It has over 70 freshwater fish species, and more than half are endemic.
Because of its climate and topography, you can expect to find animals that thrive in warm, wet forests here. Animals in Sulawesi share characteristics with the animals of Asia and Australia. Here are some of its most interesting native animals.
- Kingfishers: Sulawesi has two native species of these gorgeous birds. They are the green-backed kingfisher (Actenoides monachus) and the Sulawesi lilac kingfisher (Citura cyanotis). The lilac kingfisher is classed as near threatened.
- North Sulawesi babirusa (Babyrousa celebensis): This endemic wild pig, sometimes called a deer-pig, has a curved tusk and hooves. Its face looks like a cross between a pig and a deer, which is where it gets its nickname. Babirusas almost became extinct because of hunting and other threats. Recent conservation efforts have helped them rebound.
- Tarsius (Lemur tarsier): The world’s smallest primate, this tiny guy has a sweet face, enormous eyes and pointed ears. Tarsius are only found on Sulawesi or other nearby islands in Indonesia and the Philippines. These primates spend their whole lives in the trees, where they build nests and mate. They mate for life, and a tarsius will not mate again if its partner dies. These miniature mammals are threatened by habitat destruction.
- Maleo (Macrocephalon maleo): This distinctive bird has black feathers with a pink breast. Maleos live on the beaches and sandy areas of Sulawesi. They mate for life. The Bronx Zoo is the only other place in the world that has maleos, and it is developing programs to breed them in captivity. Maleos are critically endangered.
What Is the Biggest Animal in Sulawesi?
The Komodo dragon and the Sumatran tiger are the biggest animals in Sulawesi.
Although it is small for a tiger, the Sumatran tiger can weigh up to 260 pounds.
The Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sondaica) is a specific subspecies of tiger known as the Sunda Island subspecies. This group formerly included the Javan and Bali tigers, but they are both extinct.
The Sumatran tiger is native to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, where it lives in the forests. It has webbed feet that allow it to navigate through rivers and coastal forests. The species is listed as critically endangered. In 2016, the government of Indonesia declared the Sumatran tiger a top priority for conservation efforts.