Lesser Sunda Islands

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Lesser Sunda Islands
Map of the Lesser Sunda Islands
Map of the Lesser Sunda Islands
Waters Indian Ocean
Geographical location 10 ° 10 ′  S , 123 ° 35 ′  E Coordinates: 10 ° 10 ′  S , 123 ° 35 ′  E
Map of Lesser Sunda Islands
Total land area 87,700 km²
Residents 12,000,000
Satellite image
Satellite image

The Lesser Sunda Islands are a group of islands in the Malay Archipelago . Together with the Great Sunda Islands , they form the Sunda Islands .


The archipelago consists of six larger and numerous small islands, which are located east of Java . Together they have an area of ​​about 87,700  km² .

The eastern part of Timor forms the independent state of East Timor , to which the enclave Oe-Cusse Ambeno and the two small islands Atauro and Jaco belong in West Timor . The rest of the islands belong to Indonesia and form the region of Nusa Tenggara ( Indonesian "Southeast Islands"), which are divided into the provinces of Bali , West Nusa Tenggara and East Nusa Tenggara .

Bali , Lombok , Sumbawa , Flores , the Solor and Alor archipelagos and Atauro line up like a chain directly east of Java (from west to east) . These islands are of volcanic origin. To the south of it, Sumba , the Sawu Islands and the Timor Archipelago (with Roti and Timor ) form the west of the outer ribbon arc, which also runs in a west-east direction . It was created by the folding of the ocean floor. In an oceanic subduction zone, the northwest corner of the Australian plate is pushed under the Eurasian plate. Among other things, this leads to a growth in the mountain range on Timor, which, as the central mountainous region, runs through the entire island from southwest to northeast. Accordingly, the islands are mountainous. The highest point of the Lesser Sunda Islands is the Rinjani on Lombok at 3726 meters.

North of Timor and east of Atauro, Wetar joins the first of the Barat-Daya Islands , which are called Southwest (er) islands in German. Just like the island groups east of Timor, which extend in a chain to the Aru Islands , they belong to the Indonesian province of Maluku .

The main crops are rice , corn , cassava and coffee . In terms of mineral resources, there are, among other things, oil , iron , manganese and copper .

With the exception of Bali, the Lesser Sunda Islands belong to Wallacea , the biological transition area between Australia and Asia . There are numerous endemic animal and plant species. The Komodo dragon , the world's largest living lizard, is named after the island of Komodo . The sea is also rich in species; the north of the Lesser Sunda Islands is part of the so-called Coral Triangle .


About twelve million people live on the Lesser Sunda Islands. They mostly speak Malayo-Polynesian languages , but further east they speak increasingly Papuan languages .

In 2003, fossils of a small species of the genus Homo were discovered on the island of Flores and named after it as Homo floresiensis .

Web links

Commons : Lesser Sunda Islands  - collection of images, videos and audio files