Melanesia & the Melanesians

Nederlands – Page 1 

Asian- and Oceanic flora and fauna 

The Line of Wallace, named after the nature-researcher Alfred Russel Wallace who did research between 1854 en 1862 in this passage area, lays between Bali and Lombok, further north of the Street of Makassar between Kalimantan en Sulawesi. The red line reflects the ‘hypothetical seperation’ of Wallace where typical characteristics of southeast Asian flora & fauna decreases and where Australian/Oceanic flora and fauna starts.


Malaysian- and Indonesian islands which belong to the continental Sundaplat accomodate Asian flora and fauna: Stretched wet rice plantations and large mammals such as rhinoceroses, tigers, roar, panthers and elephants; animals which also appears on the Asian mainland characterises this once on Asian stuck islands.

Another nature researcher, Weber was interested in to what extent Oceanic animals and plants had scattered themselves. He saw that there could be made a dividing line between Sulawesi and Maluku and between Timor and Australia.


A unique flora and fauna where Asian flora and fauna decreases and Oceanic elements increases more and more can be found West of the Weber-line. The flora and fauna of Sulawesi and most of the Nusa Tenggara-islands are known here for it’s endemic animal- and plant varieties. There’s also an endemic flora and fauna east of the Weber-line, but the flora and fauna there are of Oceanic origin.

The islands which held course on or against the former continental Sahulplat accommodate an Oceanic flora and fauna. Coral reefs, sagotrees, stretched fishgardens, large mixture of birds: paradisebirds, white cockatoo, frigatebirds and marsupials such as cuscus, wallabees, opossum, cassowary’s and emu’s (melanesian/australian oisters) decorate these Pacific Islands. Striking to these islands is the lack of large landmammals.

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