Asia Flora and Wildlife


The larger northern part of Asia belongs to the Holarctic, the southern to the Paleotropic. The treeless Eurasian tundra, which covers an area of around 3 million km 2, is characterized in the extreme north by lichens and moss lawns. To the south, the Zwergstrauchtundra joins with dwarf birches and dwarf willows and continues in the south into the largest contiguous forest area, the taiga, which is characterized by Swiss stone pines, spruces, pines and firs. Hardwoods such as birch are only found in scattered areas. In the river valleys, meadow and high forage formations predominate, provided the locations are not swampy. – On the Kamchatka Peninsula , in the Amur region, in eastern China, Korea and Japan, there are deciduous forests which, depending on their floristic composition, belong to different flora regions. Distinctive genera are: Gleditschia (Gleditsia), Schnurbaum (Sophora), Trumpet Tree (Catalpa), Tree of Gods (Ailanthus), Amberbaum (Liquidambar), Magnolia (Magnolia). Apart from a few forest islands, Central Asia is occupied by steppes, semi-deserts and deserts. In the high mountains of the central and eastern parts there are arctic floral elements, forests only in more humid mountain areas. In the west, the Central Asian dry area merges into the Mediterranean flora ( Mediterranean area), in the southwest it borders on the paleotropic desert areas and dry savannas (Arabia, Iran, Pakistan). – South Asia is for the most part occupied by savannas of various characters, which merge further east into monsoons and tropical rainforests. In Southeast Asia (Malay Peninsula, Philippines, Indonesia) tropical rainforests of various types predominate. Because of the heavy settlement of the Southeast Asian region, larger contiguous rainforest areas, which are also strongly threatened by deforestation, are now only found in Sumatra, Borneo and New Guinea. The mangrove forests experience their most luxuriant development here. Typical genera (including many useful plants) are: bamboo (Bambusa), fig tree (Ficus), stone pulp (Podocarpus), teak tree (Tectona), nutmeg (Myristica), breadfruit and jackfruit (Artocarpus), mango (Mangifera), cinnamon tree (Cinnamon), Pepper (Piper), sago palm (Metroxylon) and others.


From a zoo-geographical point of view, the animal world of Asia is divided into two parts. The largest part of the continent forms the Palearctic with Europe and North America. South and Southeast Asia, on the other hand, belong to the oriental region. The fauna of the eastern Indonesian islands is a distinctly oriental-Australian mixed area with a distinct animal-geographical character (Wallacea).

The extreme north of the continent harbors a species-poor tundra fauna that has been adapted to arctic conditions. The mammals living here include polar bears, arctic foxes, lemmings and the tundra reindeer as the only larger herbivores. As a result of the permafrost, there are hardly any invertebrates living on the ground and therefore no insectivores. Real winter sleepers are also missing. The migratory birds that breed here include the lark, the buzzard and the spatula; Year-round bird is a. the snowy owl. The meltwater pools that arise in summer are breeding grounds for millions of mosquitoes. The forest region of the taiga to the south is far richer in species , with bear, wolf, elk, deer, beaver, mink, sable, crossbill, Siberian jay, birds of prey and others. Apart from the migratory birds, only a few animals migrate in winter; many birds spend the nights buried in the snow, bank voles and shrews also work under the blanket of snow, bears and chipmunks hibernate. Many of the species living here, which have their centers of distribution in East Asia, spread to Central and Northern Europe in the post-glacial period.

According to, the fauna of the warm regions of Western Asia is closely related to the Mediterranean fauna (Mediterranean area) in terms of its animal population. However, it is much more species-rich due to the increased penetration of oriental and Ethiopian forms. Characteristic representatives include: the Mesopotamian fallow deer and the Bezoar goat. The mammal faunas of the winter cold steppes and deserts to the east are characterized by the occurrence of numerous rodents, some antelope species, a wild horse and a wild ass. ‚ÄČ Various sheep species (including Argali, Urial), wild sheep, wild goats, snow leopards and others can be found in the high altitude of the mountains. on.

The wildlife of South and Southeast Asia is consistently tropical. Among the mammals, big cats (tigers, panthers), bears, wild dogs, monkeys, monkeys, rhinos, elephants, deer, antelopes and buffalo are particularly noticeable. There is also a great variety of forms in the other vertebrate groups and in the insects. Nine vertebrate families or subfamilies of mammals are endemic to the oriental region. B. Pickers (Tupaiidae), Koboldmakis (Tarsiidae), Gibbons (Hylobatidae), Pandas (Ailurinae); two families of birds, including the tree swift (Hemiprocnidae); eight reptile families, e.g. B. Gaviale (Gavialidae), and three families of fish.

Asia Flora and Wildlife