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Lesser Sunda Islands

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Lesser Sunda Islands
Native name:
Kepulauan Nusa Tenggara
Kepulauan Sunda Kecil
Lesser Sunda Islands en.png
Geography
LocationSoutheast Asia
Southwestern Pacific
Coordinates9°00′S 120°00′E / 9.000°S 120.000°E / -9.000; 120.000
ArchipelagoSunda Islands
Highest elevation3,726 m (12,224 ft)
Administration
ProvincesBali
West Nusa Tenggara
East Nusa Tenggara
Maluku (Barat Daya Islands and Tanimbar Islands only)
MunicipalitiesOecusse
Liquiçá
Dili
Manatuto
Baucau
Lautém
Bobonaro
Ermera
Aileu
Viqueque
Cova Lima
Ainaro
Manufahi
Demographics
Ethnic groupsBalinese, Sasak, Bimese, Atoni, Manggaraian, Sumbawan, Dompuan, Sumbese, Lamaholot, Tetum, Mambai, Kemak, Moluccans, Alfur, Javanese, Bugis
Map of Lesser Sunda Islands
Map of Lesser Sunda Islands
Satellite picture of the Lesser Sunda Islands
Satellite picture of the Lesser Sunda Islands
Banta Island of Lesser Sunda Islands
Banta Island of Lesser Sunda Islands

The Lesser Sunda Islands (Indonesian: Kepulauan Nusa Tenggara "southeastern archipelago"[1] or Kepulauan Sunda Kecil "lesser sunda archipelago"[2]) are a group of islands in Maritime Southeast Asia, north of Australia. Together with the Greater Sunda Islands to the west they make up the Sunda Islands. The islands are part of a volcanic arc, the Sunda Arc, formed by subduction along the Sunda Trench in the Java Sea.

The main Lesser Sunda Islands are, from west to east: Bali, Lombok, Sumbawa, Flores, Sumba, Timor, Alor archipelago, Barat Daya Islands, and Tanimbar Islands.

Administration

The Lesser Sundas comprise many islands, most of which are part of Indonesia and are administered as the provinces of Bali, West Nusa Tenggara, East Nusa Tenggara and the southern part of Maluku.

The eastern half of Timor is the separate nation of East Timor.

Geology

The Lesser Sunda Islands consist of two geologically distinct archipelagos.[3] The northern archipelago, which includes Bali, Lombok, Sumbawa, Flores and Wetar, is volcanic in origin. A number of these volcanoes, like Mount Rinjani on Lombok, are still active while others, such as Kelimutu on Flores with its three multi-coloured crater lakes, are extinct. The northern archipelago began to be formed during the Pliocene, about 15 million years ago, as a result of the collision between the Australian and the Asian plates.[3] The islands of the southern archipelago, including Sumba, Timor and Babar, are non-volcanic and appear to belong to the Australian plate.[4] The geology and ecology of the northern archipelago share similar history, characteristics, and processes with the southern Maluku Islands, which continue the same island arc to the east.

There is a long history of geological study of these regions since Indonesian colonial times; however, the geological formation and progression is not fully understood, and theories of the geological evolution of the islands changed extensively during the last decades of the 20th century.[5]

Lying at the collision of two tectonic plates, the Lesser Sunda Islands comprise some of the most geologically complex and active regions in the world.[5]

There are a number of volcanoes located on the Lesser Sunda Islands.[6]

Ecology

The Lesser Sunda Islands differ from the large islands of Java or Sumatra in consisting of many small islands, sometimes divided by deep oceanic trenches. Movement of flora and fauna between islands is limited, leading to the evolution of a high rate of localized species, most famously the Komodo dragon.[5] As described by Alfred Wallace in The Malay Archipelago, the Wallace Line passes between Bali and Lombok, along the deep waters of the Lombok Strait which formed a water barrier even when lower sea levels linked the now-separated islands and landmasses on either side. The islands east of the Lombok Strait are part of Wallacea, and are thus characterised by a blend of wildlife of Asian and Australasian origin in this region.[7] Asian species predominate in the Lesser Sundas: Weber's Line, which marks the boundary between the parts of Wallacea with mainly Asian and Australasian species respectively, runs to the east of the group. These islands have the driest climate in Indonesia, and tropical dry broadleaf forests are predominant, in contrast to the tropical moist forests that prevail in most of Indonesia.

Ecoregions

The Lesser Sunda Islands are divided among six ecoregions:[8]

Threats and preservation

Rinca island
Rinca island
Komodo dragon at Komodo National Park
Komodo dragon at Komodo National Park

More than half of the original vegetation of the islands has been cleared for planting of rice and other crops, for settlement and by consequent forest fires. Only Sumbawa now contains a large area of intact natural forest, while Komodo, Rincah and Padar are now protected as Komodo National Park.

While many ecological problems affect both small islands and large landmasses, small islands suffer their particular problems and are highly exposed to external forces. Development pressures on small islands are increasing, although their effects are not always anticipated. Although Indonesia is richly endowed with natural resources, the resources of the small islands of Nusa Tenggara are limited and specialised; furthermore human resources in particular are limited.[9]

General observations[10] about small islands that can be applied to Nusa Tenggara include:[9]

  • A higher proportion of the landmass will be affected by volcanic activity, earthquakes, landslips, and cyclone damage;
  • Climates are more likely to be maritime influenced;
  • Catchment areas are smaller and degree of erosion higher;
  • A higher proportion of the landmass is made up of coastal areas;
  • A higher degree of environmental specialisation, including a higher proportion of endemic species in an overall Depauperate community;
  • Societies may retain a strong sense of culture having developed in relative isolation;
  • Small island populations are more likely to be affected by economic migration.

See also

Flag of Indonesia.svg Indonesia portal

Notes

  1. ^ Bijdragen tot de taal-, land- en volkenkunde / Journal of the Humanities and Social Sciences of Southeast Asia. Brill Publishers. 2011. ISBN 9789790644175. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
  2. ^ "Badak Sunda dan Harimau Sunda". "[...] Mr. M. Yamin yang pada 1950-an ketika menjadi Menteri P.P. dan K. mengganti istilah Kepulauan Sunda Kecil menjadi Kepulauan Nusa Tenggara. Sebab, istilah Kepulauan Sunda Kecil diganti dengan Kepulauan Nusa Tenggara, maka istilah Kepulauan Sunda Besar juga tidak lagi digunakan dalam ilmu bumi dan perpetaan nasional Indonesia – meskipun dalam perpetaan Internasional istilah Greater Sunda Islands dan Lesser Sunda Islands masih tetap digunakan." - Ajip Rosidi: Penulis, budayawan. Pikiran Rakyat, 21 August 2010. Archived from the original on 8 July 2015. Retrieved 7 July 2015.
  3. ^ a b Audley-Charles, M.G. (1987) "Dispersal of Gondwanaland: relevance to evolution of the Angiosperms" In: Whitmore, T.C. (ed.) (1987) Biogeographical Evolution of the Malay Archipelago Oxford Monographs on Biogeography 4, Clarendon Press, Oxford, pp. 5–25, ISBN 0-19-854185-6
  4. ^ Veevers, J.J. (1991) "Phanerozoic Australia in the changing configuration of ProtoPangea through Gondwanaland and Pangea to the present dispersed continents" Australian Systematic Botany 4: pp. 1–11
  5. ^ a b c Monk, K.A.; Fretes, Y.; Reksodiharjo-Lilley, G. (1996). The Ecology of Nusa Tenggara and Maluku. Hong Kong: Periplus Editions Ltd. p. 9. ISBN 962-593-076-0.
  6. ^ "Volcanoes of Indonesia: Lesser Sunda Islands". Global Volcanism Program. Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Retrieved 1 January 2013.
  7. ^ Monk (1996), page 4
  8. ^ Wikramanayake, Eric; Eric Dinerstein; Colby J. Loucks; et al. (2002). Terrestrial Ecoregions of the Indo-Pacific: a Conservation Assessment. Washington, DC: Island Press
  9. ^ a b Monk (1996), page 1
  10. ^ Beller, W., P. d'Ayala, and P. Hein. 1990. Sustainable development and environmental management of small islands. Paris and New Jersey: United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation and Parthenon Publishing Group Inc.; Hess, A, 1990. Overview: sustainable development and environmental management of small islands. In Sustainable development and environmental management of small islands. eds W. Beller, P. d'Ayala, and P. Hein, Paris and New Jersey: United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation and Parthenon Publishing Group Inc. (both cited in Monk)

References

  • Monk, K.A.; Fretes, Y.; Reksodiharjo-Lilley, G. (1996). The Ecology of Nusa Tenggara and Maluku. Hong Kong: Periplus Editions Ltd. ISBN 962-593-076-0.

External links

This page was last edited on 6 September 2020, at 12:43
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