Tuesday, June 07, 2005

KOMODO DRAGONS - Komodo Dragon kingdom under threat

Here's an article in The Jakarta Post - The Journal of Indonesia Today on the dwindling Indonesian tourism industry.
For ecotourists the centerpiece of this fascinating transition zone between Asia and Australia is the sea and land that forms Komodo National Park -- five main islands and a splash of islets between Flores and Sumbawa.

The biggest is Komodo and its major attraction is the internationally famous 'dragon'.

Before the economic crisis, terrorist bombings and travel warnings scared away the tourists, Komodo National Park attracted 30,000 outsiders a year, mainly from North America and Europe.

That number has now been cut by half.
This industry is fragile; dragons have recently become extinct on Padar island. This happened after poachers killed off the Timor deer, the reptiles' main food source.
The article also points to the official Komodo National Park website which is a site I've not seen before...