The drier forests of Wallacea are found in the large country of Indonesia and the tiny new country of East Timor. They dominate the natural landscape in a group of islands often known as the 'Lesser Sundas'. These are represented in yellow in the above map. This image shows the transition zone of Wallacea between the Australian forests of New Guinea to the east and the Asia rainforest of Borneo and Java to the west. The green and orange represent the rainforest of northern Wallacea.
These seasonally dry woodlands and monsoon forests look quite similar to the equivalent habitats across northern Australia, and share related species. Trees are spaced out and lianas can be common. On some islands, tall palms dominate the ridges. These open forests and woodlands are seasonally dry, as they are located in the rain shadow of the Australian continent. Moister trade winds that come from the south east in the southern hemisphere dry season are sucked dry as they travel across the continent. In the long dry season many species of plant lose their leaves, and the ground of open forests is crunchy underfoot. Only in the summer wet season does the area get significant rainfall. At this time, the previously sparse brown vegetation erupts into green.
Places to explore the tropical dry forest of Wallacea include Komodo Island and Rinca. Both of these islands are the places to see the infamous Komodo Dragons. Satonda Island is a more remote island in Indonesia. A bit more difficult to get to is Nino Konis National Park in East Timor; this new countries first and only national park.
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