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Published: 25 August,2023 | Updated: 25 August,2023
Various Endemic Animals in Southeast Asia

As we know, Southeast Asia has a tropical climate all year round.  In addition, the geographical location of countries in Southeast Asia is around the equator.  It makes several countries in Southeast Asia have relatively the same wealth of natural resources.

Komodo dragon Foto: Shutterstock/Mathias Berlin

Even though they have climate and natural resources that tend to be similar, every country in the Southeast Asian region has endemic fauna or animals that also become the identity of the country;  national animals.

For your information, Southeast Asia is the habitat for 9% of endemic birds and 11% of mammal species in the world.  It's no wonder Southeast Asia is the "home" for endemic birds and the largest mammals in the world.

Therefore, it is good for us to get acquainted with the various endemic animals in the following Southeast Asian countries:

Komodo Dragon

The Komodo dragon is endemic to Indonesia.  It is an ancient animal that still exists and is the only one in the world.  In Indonesia, the Komodo dragon's habitat is in the Komodo National Park area, West Manggarai, East Nusa Tenggara.  In 2022 there were 3,156 Komodo dragons spread across three major islands, namely Komodo Island, Rinca Island, and Padar Island.

Malayan Tiger

Panthera tigris jacksoni, or Malayan tiger, is an endemic animal of Malaysia.  The Malayan tiger's habitat is around the Peninsula of Malaysia.  The Malayan tiger is an endangered animal, with a population of less than 150 in the wild, according to 2022 data.  Male Malayan tigers generally have a body length of up to 237 cm, and females 200 cm long.

Green Peacock

As the name implies, this peacock has predominantly green feathers.  The distinctive feature of this bird is its long and wide tail, like a fan.  Being one of the endemic animals in Southeast Asia, the green peacock is the national animal of Myanmar.  The bird with the Latin name Burmese peafowl became a symbol of the Burmese monarchy in the early 19th century.

Forest Ox

Being the national animal of Cambodia, the wild boar, better known as the kouprey, is one of the rarest animals in the world.  A distinctive feature of the Cambodian forest ox is its long, threaded horns.  Interestingly, the ox is also the royal animal of Cambodia, which is believed to predict good fortune for the country.

Asian Elephant

Being a symbol of the greatness of the Thai kingdom, the Asian elephant is one of the endemic animals in Southeast Asia.  Asian elephants can reach up to 3.5 meters in height and weigh around 5,500 kilograms.  It is estimated that only 4,000 Asian elephants remain in the wild.

Indian Elephant

Although the name is the Indian elephant, this Southeast Asian endemic animal is the national animal of Laos.  An interesting fact is that Laos is also nicknamed the Land of a Million Elephants by King Fa Ngum!  The Indian elephant was also the main means of transportation for the ancient Laotian royal family.  The distinctive feature of the Indian elephant is its height, which reaches 2-3.5 meters, with a weight ranging from 2 to 5 tons.


Another endemic animal of Southeast Asia comes from Vietnam, namely "saola" (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis).  This animal is often called the Asian unicorn because it has a horn resembling a unicorn.  The distinctive feature of the saola is its thick, tan skin with white patches on the face and neck, and its horns can grow up to 50 cm.


Furthermore, there are endemic animals from the Philippines, namely the Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) inhabiting forests in the Philippines.  This eagle is also one of the endangered species from the Accipitridae family.  This Philippine national animal is listed as one of the largest eagles in the world.  Its wingspan can reach 2 meters, with a body length of 90-100 cm, and weighs about 6 kg.

Proboscis Monkey

As one of the endemic animals on the island of Borneo (Kalimantan), the proboscis monkey has a long, large nose and reddish-brown hair.  Because of the color of its fur, proboscis monkeys are also often referred to as Dutch monkeys, with the scientific name Nasalis larvatus.

Source: ASEAN Indonesia 2023