Komodo dragons are some of the most fascinating and yet terrifying animals around. They are considered to be the most dangerous lizards in the world and are incredibly powerful apex predators. Komodo dragons are endemic to the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, and Gili Motang. However, we’re going to focus on one of those islands in particular, where gigantic Komodo dragons roam — the aptly named Komodo Island!
How Big Is Komodo Island?
Komodo Island is one of many islands which make up the Republic of Indonesia. It is located between Sumbawa and Flores and forms part of the Lesser Sunda chains of islands. It’s a small island and has a surface area of just 150 square miles.
The island is part of the Komodo National Park, along with Padar and Rinca islands, and 26 other smaller ones. The national park covers a total area of 669 square miles and was formed in 1980 for the purpose of protecting the Komodo dragons. Since 1991 it has also been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
About the Largest Lizards in the World
Komodo dragons are the largest living lizards in the world. They can reach approximately 10 feet long and weigh as much as 350 pounds. They have a powerful tail that is as long as their body as well as a mouth full of sharp, serrated teeth which can be up to one inch long. However, the most notorious feature of Komodo dragons is their venomous saliva.
Komodo dragons have potent venom which contains many toxic proteins. It causes shock, paralysis, a drop in blood pressure, and prevents blood from clotting, eventually causing death within a few hours. However, Komodo dragons are powerful apex predators, and their venom is just one method that they use to kill their prey. This is because they tend to bite their prey with a unique technique which results in them ripping and tearing off huge chunks of flesh to leave huge wounds through which the venom can seep into the bloodstream. Komodo dragons are strong enough to prey on large animals, such as water buffalo, deer, and wild boar. They also prey on a variety of smaller animals such as birds and monkeys. However, they are highly opportunistic and will often prey on anything that they come across.
How Many Komodo Dragons Live on Komodo Island?
Komodo dragons are named after the island that they inhabit. They live in a wide variety of habitats, including grasslands, savannahs, scrubland, and tropical forests. However, Komodo dragons are critically endangered and their future remains uncertain. There is no accurate data to tell us exactly how many Komodo dragons live on Komodo Island. However, there are estimated to be 1,383 mature Komodo dragons and 3,400 juveniles across the Komodo National Park. However, with good management it is hoped that these stunning animals can win the battle for survival.
Are There People on Komodo Island?
Yes, although it may seem surprising, there are people living on Komodo Island. The current population is approximately 1,800 and consists mainly of fishermen and their families. Most people live in Komodo village, with the rest spread out across the island. Incredibly, these people have learnt to coexist with the Komodo dragons and manage to go about their day-to-day lives alongside them.
Although they sometimes lose their goats to the dragons and often walk around carrying sticks as a means of defending themselves, these people also respect these animals as they understand that they must live alongside each other. After all, the Komodo dragons bring tourists to the area and, ultimately, an income for many people on the island. As a symbol of this relationship, the locals also tend to avoid hunting and killing the large prey animals which make up the Komodo dragon’s diet.
Can You Visit Komodo Island?
If you fancy visiting Komodo Island and seeing its stunning animals for yourself then you’ll be pleased to know that the area is open to tourists. However, it can only be accessed as part of a boat tour from the fishing town of Labuan Bajo on Flores.
Trips can usually be booked in advance or at the harbor on the day. They include a tour of the National Park, including Komodo Island, and plenty of opportunities to see the huge lizards in their natural habitat. There is no accommodation on Komodo Island, so most trips are only day trips. However, if you’re prepared to pay a higher price then there are some boats with accommodation on board. These trips enable you to spend several days sightseeing.
Where is Komodo Island Located on a Map?
Komodo Island, which belongs to the Lesser Sunda archipelago in Indonesia, boasts a striking landscape that serves as the natural habitat for the Komodo dragon monitor lizard, measuring up to 9 feet in length.
Encompassing the entire area is Komodo National Park, an expansive region characterized by rusty-red volcanic hills, vast savannahs, and lush forests. This national park is a sanctuary for over 4,000 Komodo dragons, providing a protected environment for these magnificent creatures to thrive.
Here is Komodo Island on a map:
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