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Moluccas - BirdForum Opus

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The Moluccas are a group of islands in Indonesia. They are west of New Guinea, northwest of Australia, and east of Sulawesi and the Lesser Sundas.

Politically they form two Indonesian provinces:

  • North Maluku
  • Ternate
  • Bacan
  • Halmahera
  • Morotai
  • Obi
  • Sula
  • Tidore
  • Maluku
  • Ambon
  • Aru
  • Babar
  • Banda
  • Buru
  • Kai
  • Kisar
  • Leti
  • Seram
  • Tanimbar
  • Wetar

They lie in Wallacea, the biogeographical area between Asia and Australia.

Where communities rely on fishing the forest may remain relatively untouched. In general, the logging of rainforest for timber and the growing populations of the islands are a big threat to many species.


The avifauna is more Australasian than Asian with many endemic species of Birds-of-paradise, Honeyeaters and Whistlers for example.


Regional endemics

See Sulawesi for a list of species shared with that Province.

Other notable species

Other wildlife


The Moluccas host 160 mammal species. Of these, 27 (17%) are endemic. Halmahera and Ternate each have attractive endemic cuscus species (Phalanger ornatus and P. matabiru respectively) [2].

Other groups

Wallace's giant bee (Megachile pluto) is the largest bee in the world. It is likely found (or existed) on Bacan, Halmahera, and Tidore. This species has only been rarely encountered and was filmed alive for the first time in 2019 [1].


  1. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megachile_pluto
  2. Maryanto, I., Maharadatunkamsi, Achmadi, A. S., Wiantoro, S., Sulistyadi, E., Yoneda, M., Suyanto, A., Sugardjito, J. (2019) Checklist of the Mammals of Indonesia: Scientific, English, Indonesia Name and Distribution Area Table in Indonesia Including CITES, IUCN and Indonesian Category for Conservation. Research Center for Biology Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI). Available from link