Indo-Malay ecozone

Photograph of Earth showing the location of the Indo-Malay ecozone

The Indomalayan ecozone covers south and south-east Asia. It stretches from Afghanistan in the west to Japan's Ryukyu Islands in the east and Borneo in the south.

Other Ecozones

Bounded by mountain ranges to the north and the Wallace line to the south east the Indomalayan ecozone was historically dominated by forests.

Large mammals characteristic of Indomalaya include leopards, tigers, water buffalos, Asian Elephants, Indian Rhinoceros, Javan Rhinoceros, Malayan Tapir, orangutans, and gibbons. Indomalaya has three endemic bird families with Pheasants, pittas, Old World babblers, and flowerpeckers also being characteristic of the region.

Habitats in this ecozone

  • European beechwood in pale autumnal sunlight Broadleaf forest

    Broadleaf forests are the dominant habitat of the UK and most of temperate northern Europe. There's little left of Britain's ancient wildwood, but isolated pockets of oak, beech and mixed deciduous and evergreen woodlands are scattered across the continent, and dictate its biodiversity.

  • View up into the canopy of sequoia redwoods Coniferous forest

    The coniferous forests of temperate regions undergo warm summers and cool winters, unlike their tropical counterparts. The species aren't exclusively conifers, there are usually a few broadleaf varieties too.

  • A desert sand dune landscape in Namibia Desert

    Desert and dry scrubland describes any area that receives less than 250mm of rainfall a year. Not just the endless, baking sand dunes of popular conception, it includes arid areas in temperate regions.

  • Flooded grassland of the Everglades Flooded grassland

    Flooded grasslands are the half grassland, half wetland typified by the Florida Everglades, the marshes of Southern Iraq and the Pantanal of Brazil. They may be permanently or seasonally flooded, which has an obvious effect on what kinds of plant and animal species found here.

  • Life around the roots of red mangrove trees Mangroves

    Mangrove forests grow on tropical coasts with soft soils and are flooded twice daily by the tide. They are important nursery areas for many species of fish.

  • A poppy field in the mountains of Italy Mountain grassland

    Mountain grasslands such as those in the Ethiopian highlands, on the Tibetan Plateau and up in the Andes, include the alpine tundra above the treeline as well as grasslands below it. These high altitude grasslands often exist as isolated 'islands' in a sea of another habitat type.

  • The rainforest of Borneo Rainforest

    Rainforests are the world's powerhouses, the most vital habitats on the planet. Characterised by high rainfall, they only cover 6% of the Earth across the tropical regions, but they contain more than half of its plant and animal species.

  • Pine and juniper forest in New Mexico Tropical coniferous forest

    Tropical coniferous forests may sound like an odd concept to northern Europeans who associate conifers with cooler northern climes. However, their ability to conserve moisture is the perfect adaptation for certain areas of the tropics and subtropics where conditions are drier year round.

  • Tropical dry forest of Madagascar Tropical dry forest

    Tropical dry forests, in contrast to rainforest, have to survive a long dry season each year, so the predominantly deciduous trees shed their leaves to cope with it. Sunlight can then reach the ground, so the season that's bad for the trees is good for the forest floor.

  • Acacia trees on the grassland of the Serengeti Tropical grassland

    Tropical grasslands include the savanna usually associated with Africa, and savanna-type grasslands found in India, Australia, Nepal and the Americas. They are characterised by drought-resistant shrubs and grasses, dotted with trees such as acacias or baobabs.

Habitat distribution

Map showing the location of the Indo-Malay ecozone


What lives here?




Cartilaginous fish

Ray-finned fishes




Crabs, shrimp and krill

Snails and slugs