Despite its population and its popularity as a tourist destination, Bali has maintained a significant variety of wild species. Indigenous to Bali are hundred of bird species and a variety of small mammals, including macaques and monkeys.
With a growing human population and a shrinking forest habitat, many animal populations are having a hard time in Bali. Modern technology, such as liquid herbicides introduced to control weeds in rice cultivation, have had a negative impact on the ecosystem. An unintended consequence of all these factors is a decline in local species. The last tiger on the island, for example, was spotted in 1930s.
In recognition of this increasingly critical condition, the government has taken some steps. The most significant effort is Bali Barat National Park which spans a significant portion of the western half of the island. The Park’s main aim was to protect the preserve habitat and give shelter to rare bird species, such as the unique Bali Mynah.
Bali Barat National Park has become a popular destination for amateur ornithologists. The park supports a large bird population. If you would like to see a large collection of Indonesian birds without having to trudge around in the jungle, you can also visit the Bali Bird Park which is home to thousands of birds from Bali and Indonesia — probably your best bet for seeing the rare Bali Starling.
Another impact affects the monkey community in particular and can be seen at tourist destinations such as Uluwatu Temple, Sangeh, Alas Kedaton and the Monkey Forest Ubud. Temples have always been a minor source of food for the local monkey populations (they raid the donations left at the temples), but with the large number of tourists now adding their “donations”, the population is at risk from dependency on these handouts.