Komodo National Park

Facts about Komodo National Park

We found 11 facts about Komodo National Park

One of the new seven wonders of the world

Komodo National Park is a protected area located in Indonesia. It is one of the country's fifty national parks, located in the Lesser Sunda Islands. The area combines extraordinary wildlife, fascinating animals, and magnificent landscapes.

The park consists of three larger islands: Komodo, Padar, and Rinca, and 26 smaller islets lying in the Indian Ocean. Its biggest attraction and symbol is the Komodo dragon, the world’s largest lizard. The unique flora and fauna, which includes terrestrial, marine, and coastal areas, has been recognized by the inclusion of Komodo National Park on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Komodo National Park is not only a natural oasis, but also a place of interest for scientists and nature lovers. It is one of those corners of the earth that attract and inspire people to protect our natural heritage, especially Indonesia’s natural heritage.

Komodo National Park
Komodo National Park is one of fifty protected areas in Indonesia.

It is located in the Lesser Sunda Islands, on the border between the provinces of East Nusa Tenggara and West Nusa Tenggara. The park includes three larger islands: Komodo, Padar, and Rinca, and 26 small islets, with a total area of 1733 kilometers, of which the land area is 603 kilometers.

The park was established in 1980 to protect the unique Komodo dragon, discovered by the scientific world in 1912.

Later, the protection was extended to all of the area’s flora and fauna, including marine life. In 1991, Komodo National Park was recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site and biosphere reserve. It was also selected as one of the Seven New Wonders of Nature.

The islands that make up the park are of volcanic origin.

The park encompasses the western, coastal part of Flores Island, the islands of Komodo, Padar, and Rinca, 26 smaller islands, and the surrounding waters. The terrain of these islands is rugged, with hills not exceeding 735 meters.

The park has one of the driest climates in Indonesia, with high daily temperatures of about 40 degrees Celsius in the dry season (May to October), and rainfall of 800 to 1000 millimeters.

The symbol of the park and its biggest attraction is the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis).

It is the largest lizard in the world and one of the world’s largest reptiles. The hot and dry climate with savannah vegetation is the perfect habitat for the Komodo dragon, which is an endemic species of the park.

There are plans to add two more islands to the park, Banta and Gili Motong, which are increasingly frequented by warblers. These islands are not protected and the reptiles residing there are vulnerable to hunting by poachers.

The waters belonging to Komodo National Park are teeming with life.

They are home to 1000 species of fish, 260 species of reef corals, 70 different sponges, 17 species of whales and dolphins, and two species of sea turtles. Also impressive is the coral reef, which has expanded by 60 percent since dynamite fishing stopped.

The park is popular with divers because of its biodiversity.

The fauna of Komodo National Park is a combination of Asian and Australian fauna.

The terrestrial fauna is much less diverse compared to the marine fauna. There are not many terrestrial animal species, but some are endemic and are important from a conservation point of view. Some mammals are of Asian origin, such as a species of deer (Rusa timorensis) - Javan rusa, wild boars, water buffalo, crab-eating macaques, and civets. Some reptiles and birds are native to Australia, such as the orange-legged scrub, yellow-bellied cockatoo, and helmeted dandelion.

The islands are home to twelve terrestrial snake species, including the Javan spitting cobra (Naja sputatrix), Russell's viper (Daboia russelii), white-lipped pit viper (Trimeresurus albolabris), and Timor python (Python timoriensis). Among the lizards, geckos, limbless lizards (Dibamidae) are found, along with the Komodo warbler. The flower pot toad (Kaloula baleata), the endemic Oreophryne jeffrsoniana and Oreophryne darevskii are found there, as well as the saltwater crocodile (Crocodylus porosus).

There are also goats, cats, and dogs that are feral in the park.

There are currently about four thousand people living in Komodo National Park, living in four settlements: Komodo, Rinca, Kerora, and Papagaran.

These settlements existed in the area before it was protected. The Komodo settlement has the largest population, with 270 houses in 2000. The total population currently living in the park is 3267, with 16.816 people in the area immediately surrounding the park.

The population is mainly engaged in fishing. Most of the communities in and around the park speak Indonesian (the official and national language of Indonesia), but the Bajo (Sama-Bajau) language is used in daily communication in most communities.

Most villages in the park have limited access to fresh water, especially during the dry season.

During the dry season, water quality deteriorates and many people become ill. Malaria and diarrhea are rampant in the area. Fresh water is brought there from the mainland by boat, in canisters.

There is a local medical facility in almost every village, but the quality of healthcare is poor.

The average level of education in Komodo National Park villages is the fourth grade of elementary school.

There is a four-class elementary school in each village, but students are not enrolled every year. There are also four teachers. Most children living in the park do not finish school, and less than 10 percent of those who complete elementary school go on to secondary school.

There are several cultural sites in the park, especially on Komodo Island.

These sites are unfortunately not well documented. Outside the park, there is a remnant of a Chinese trading post in the village of Warloka on Flores Island, but the archeological finds from this site have been looted.

Tourism in Komodo National Park began in the 1980s, with the establishment of the park.

Komodo is developed almost exclusively for tourism. The dominant strategy is to develop eco-tourism, mainly marine, to ensure the park’s self-financing. According to the local tourism agency, the park can receive up to 60.000 visitors a year. Tourism is mainly based on foreign visitors, due to the long distance, it is too expensive for locals to visit.

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