Missing Balinese wildlife

Bali countrysideI have just been to Bali, the tourist capital of what used to be called the East Indies and now part of Indonesia.

I was one of around 2 million visitors that arrive each year to sample the hospitality, culture and warmth of a tropical island that is home to 2.5 million Balinese.

Bali has hotels for every budget, warm oceans, surf beaches, culture, cheap eats and some of the best value for money massages on the planet.

I was amazed at the dexterity needed to guide a scooter through the traffic, marveled at the skill of the many artisans and enjoyed the barbecued seafood served on tables stretched out in rows across the beach.

What I missed was wildlife. Everything was absent. Sure the tourists ooh’d and aah’d at the long tailed macaque’s that reproduce in profusion in monkey forests.

I saw one hotel guest jump at a gecko on a wall.

I looked carefully and spotted a sparrow in a tree and some herons in the rice paddies; but that was about it.

In an essentially rural society I figured that humans do not need industry to reduce biodiversity.