Komodo Dragons Found in Un-protected IBA
by Martin Fowlie
A team including staff from BirdLife Partner Burung Indonesia has confirmed the presence of the Komodo Dragon, the world’s largest lizard, in the west of Flores Island, Indonesia. The discovery adds further urgency to the BirdLife Partnership’s campaign to gain formal protection for the Mbeliling Important Bird and Biodiversity Area (IBA), which includes the forests where the giant lizards were found.
Komodo Dragon Varanus komodoensis is classed as Vulnerable on The IUCN Red List. Camera traps recorded at least 12 individuals in the Mbeliling forest in the extreme west of Flores, opposite the small islands of Komodo and Rinca, which are the known strongholds of the Komodo Dragon. The Komodo National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, includes these islands and a section of the Flores coast, but the Mbeliling IBA lies outside its boundaries.
As recently as 2004, Komodo Dragons were found at sites on the north and south coasts of Flores, but the survey work by Burung Indonesia and others provides the first confirmation that they also survive in the west…
(read more: Birdlife International)