Friday, January 11, 2008

Bibliography Komodo 1912-1994

TITLE: KOMODO DRAGON (Varanus komodoensis):
AUTHOR & INSTITUTION: Kay A. Kenyon, Librarian
National Zoological Park Branch
Smithsonian Institution Libraries
Washington D.C.
DATE: March 1990
LAST UPDATE: September 1995

All references are listed alphabetically by author and divided into the following two sections:
1912-1970; 1970-1994

Angel, F. 1943. La Vie des Cameleons et autres Lezards. Gallimard (Paris). (In French)
Anon. 1926. Das drachenparadies von Komodo. Berliner Tageblatt. (In German)
Anon. 1926. Munchhausen am equator. Wild und Hund. Berlin, No. 44. (In German)
Anon. 1927. Berliner Illustrierten Zeitung, No. 7. (In German)
Anon. 1927. The giant monitor lizard. Field (London), 149:115.
Anon. 1928. Die riesenechse von Komodo. Der Naturforscher (Berlin), 5(9):377-380. (In German)
Anon. 1934. Giant komodo dragons come to America. The Literary Digest (New York).
Anon. 1938. Guide to the Zoological Gardens of London Zoological Society of London, p. 36.
Anon. 1942. Guide Book, The Cincinnati Zoo, pp. 91-92.
Anon. 1944. Official Guide Book of the San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, San Diego. Zoological Society of San Diego, p. 9.
Anon. 1950. Official Guide Book, Chicago Zoological Park, Brookfield, Ill. Chicago Zoological Society, p. 87.
Anon. 1950. Official Guide to the Milwaukee County Zoological Park (Washington Park Zoo), p. 87.
Anon. 1955. The great komodo dragon, the world' s largest lizard, nine feet long, takes up residence in the Bronx Zoo. Life (New York), June, pp. 137-140.
Anon. 1955. News item with photograph. The New York Times, 5 May.
Anon. 1959. Official Guide Book, San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, San Diego. California Zoological Society of San Diego, p. 15.
Anon. 1962. Guide to the San Diego Zoological Gardens. Zoological Society of San Diego, p. 96.
Anon. 1963. The sciences. Bulletin of the New York Academy of Science (New York), 3(12).
Anon. 1963. San Diego Zoo gives a home to fearsome rarities, living pair of dragons. Life (New York), Sept. 27, 1963.
Attenborough, D. 1957. Zoo Quest for a Dragon. London: The Lutterworth Press. Republished by
Pan Books Ltd. as a pocket book in 196l.
Ballou, G. 1957. Varanus, the little dragon. Nature Magazine (New York), 50:79-80.
Barrett, C. 1928. Lizards in Australian wilds. Bulletin of the New York Zoological Society, 31(4):107-108.
Barbor, T. 1926. Reptiles and Amphibians, Their Habits and Adaptations. Boston: Houghton Mifflin and Co., p. 12.
Bergh, W. Van Den. 1959. Notre societe possede a nouveau des varans de komodo. Zoo (Antwerp), 24, Part 3, pp. 75-78. (In Flemish)
Brongersma, L.D. 1932. Uber die eiablage und die eier von varanus komodoensis ouwens. Der
Zoologischer Garten (Leipzig) Neue Folge, 5 (1/3):45-48.
Broughton, Lady. 1936. A modern dragon hunt on Komodo. The National Geographic Magazine,
Brown, H.B. 1938. Komodo dragons. Parks & Recreation, 22(7:368-369.
Burden, W.D. 1927. Dragon Lizards of Komodo: An Expedition to the Lost World of the Dtuch East Indies. New York:G.P. Putnam Sons, 221 pp.
-----. 1927. The quest for the dragon of Komodo. Natural History (New York), 27:3-18.
-----. 1927. Stalking the dragon lizard on the island of Komodo. National Geographic, 52(2):216-232.
-----. 1928. Results of the Douglas Burden Expedition to the Island of Komodo. 5. Observations on the habits and distribution of Varanus komodoensis ouwens. American Museum Novitates, pp. 1-10, No. 316.
Cochran, D.M. Dangerous reptiles. Report of the Smithsonian Institution 1943-44, pp. 275-325.
Cogger, H.G. 1959. Australian goannas. Australian Museum Magazine (Natural History) (Sydney), 13:71-75.
Collins, P. 1956. My "Komodo Dragon" circus. Animal Kingdom, Bulletin of the New York Zoological Society, 59:34-42.
Conant, R. 1937. The komodo dragons, world' s largest lizards. The Philadelphia Zoo. Bulletin of the Zoological Society of Philadelplhia, 1(1):1-2.
-----. 1938. Official Illustrated Guide Book to the Philadelphia Zoological Gardens. Zoological Society of Philadelphia, p. 84.
-----. 1946. Official Illustrated Guide Book, Philadelphia Zoological Garden. Zoological Society of Philadelphia, 6th edition, p. 72.
Dittmars, R.L. 1928. The lizards. Bulletin of the New York Zoological Society, 31(4):136.
-----. 1934. The giant monitors of Komodo. Bulletin of the New York Zoological Society, 37:67-68.
Dunn, E.R. 1927. Results of the Douglas Burden Expedition to the Island of Komodo. 1. Notes on Varanus komodoensis. American Museum Novitates, No. 286:1-10.
-----. 1927. A trip to the Dutch East Indies. The Smith Alumnae Quarterly, pp. 157-160.
Dunton, S. and Anon. 1955. Komodo monitors. Animal Kingdom, Bulletin of the New York Zoological Society, 58 (4):110.
Eglis, A. 1962. A postscript to "komodo dragon." Bulletin of the Philadelphia Herpetological Society, 10(2/3):10.
Engelhardt, W. 1962. Survival of the Free. New York: G.P. Putnam.
Flower, S.S., Dr. M. Smith and E.G. Boulenger. 1929. List of the Vertebrated Animals Exhibited in the Gardens of the Zoological Society of London 1828 - 1927 (London). Volume III - Reptiles, Amphibians and Fishes, p. 146.
-----. 1937. The duration of life in animals, further notes, III - Reptiles. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, p. 74.
Fox, H.M. 1940. Report of the Penrose Research Laboratory of the Zoological Society of Philadelphia, p. 17.
Fukuda, S. 1963. Reminiscences of the komodo dragon. Animals and Zoo (Tokyo), 15:7. (In Japanese)
Gillespie, T.H. 1938. Annual Report of the Zoological Society of Scotland for Year ending March 31, 1938 (Edinburgh), p. 14.
Gillsater, S. 1961. We Ended in Bali. London: George Allen and Co.
Gilmore, C.W. and D. Cochran. 1930. Cold blooded vertebrates. Smithsonian Scientific Series (Washington), 8, Parts II and III, p. 336.
Giltay, L. 1931. Observations teratologiques sur deux squelettes de Varanus komodoensis ouwens. Bulletin du Musee Royal d' Histoire Naturelle de Belgique or Mededeelingen van het Koninklijk Natuurhistorisch Museum van Belgie Bruxelles (Brussels), 7(29):1-7. (In Flemish)
Goin, C.J. and L.B. Goin. 1962. Introduction to Herpetology, W.H.Freeman & Co., San Francisco, pp. 264 and 282.
Gregory, W.K. 1934. Whence came the "dragons of Komodo." Bulletin of the New York Zoological Society, 37:68-74.
Hegner, R. and J.Z. Hegner. 1935. Parade of the Animal Kingdom. New York:McMillan Company, p. 327.
Heuvelmans, B. 1959. On the Track of Unknown Animals. New York: Hill Wang and Company.
Hoogerwerf, A. 1948. Enkele waarenemingen bij jonge Komodo- Varanen (Varanus komodoensis Ouwens) in den zevangen staat en een beschouwing over den duur van het ei-stadium bij deze reptielen. Chronica Naturae (Batavia), 104(2):33-41. (In Danish)
-----. 1954. Nature protection in Indonesia. Oryx (London), 2:221-227.
-----. 1955. Le lezard geant de Komodo. Science et Nature (Paris), No. 9, May-June. (In French)
-----. 1956. Ietsover de vogels van de eilanden Komodo, padar en rintja, het land van Varanus komodoensis. Limosa, 28:96-112.
-----. 1958. The Indonesian giant (Varanus komodoensis). Natural History (New York), 67:136-141.
Horst, O. 1926. Varanus komodoensis. De Tropische Natuur, Buitenzorg, 15:118-121. (In Dutch)
Huut, M.A. Van. 1937. Capturing giant dragon lizards for the world' s zoos: A new dutch expedition to Komodo Island. Illustrated London News, 53:174-175.
Jong, J.K. de. 1927. Varanus komodoensis ouwens. Annals and Magazine of Natural History (London), 9th series, 19: 589-591.
----- and L. D. Brongersma. 1927. Anatomische notizen uber Varanus ouwens. 1. Die bewegungen im schadel von Varanus komodoensis. Zoologischer Anzeiger (Leipzig), 70:65-69 (In German).
-----. 1946. Newly hatched Varanus komodoensis. Treubia, Buitenzorg (hors-series) 1944, pp. 143- 145.
Lallement, G.F.A. 1929. De reuzenleguan (Varanus komodoensis) op de eilanden komodo en rindja. De Tropische Natuur, (Buitenzorg), 18(8):125-128.
Lederer, G. 1933. Beobachtungen an waranen im Frankfurter Zoo. Der Zoologischer Garten (Leipzig) Neue Folge, 6:ll8-126.
-----. 1942. Der Drachenwaran (Varanus komodoensis ouwens). Der Zoologische Garten (Leipzig) Neue Folge), 14(5/6):227-244.
Lonnberg. E. 1928. Notes on Varanus komodoensis ouwens and its affinities. Arkiv foer Zoologi (Uppsala), 19A(27):1-11.
Loveridge, A. 1945. Reptiles of the Pacific World. New York: Macmillan Company, pp. 59-61.
Maleyev, Y. 1962. The komodo dragon. Bulletin of the Philadelphia Herpetological Society, 10(1):32-34.
Meinertz, T. 1952. Das herz und die grossen blutgefasse bei der Komodoeidechae, placovaranus
komodoensis (Ouwens). Zeitschrift fur Anatomie und Entwicklungsgesiche (Berlin), 116:315-319.
Mertens, R. 1929. Uber einige neu oder selten eingefuhrte Amphibien und Reptilien aus Sudost-
Asien, III. Eidechsen-Varanus komodoensis Ouwens. Blatter fur Aquarien und Terrarienkunde (Stuttgart), 40(23):410-412. (In German)
-----. 1930. Die Amphibien und Reptilien der Insel Bali, Lombok, Sumbawa und Flores. Abhandlungen der Senckenbergischen Naturforschenden Gesellschaft, Frankfurt, 42(3):115-344. (In German)
-----. 1948. Uber den komod-waran des Berliner "Aquariums," besonders seinen schadel.Senckenbergiana (Frankfurt au Main), 28, Part 4/6, pp. 153-157. (In German)
-----. 1952. Die riesenechse von Komodo. Orion, 7, Part 2, pp. 50-53. (In German)
-----. 1959. Liste der warane asiens under der Indo-australischer inselwelt mit systematischen bemerkungen. Senkenbergiana Biologica (Frankfurt a/m), 40:221-240. (In German)
-----. 1960. The World of Amphibians and Reptiles. New York: McGraw Hill pp. 16, 200 and 154 on Varanus komodoensis.
Mitchell, P. C. 1928. Official Guide to the Gardens-Regents Park. Zoological Society of London, 25th ed., p. 26.
Oliver, J.A. 1955. 60th Annual Report, New York Zoological Society, Department of Reptiles, p.16.
-----. 1956. 61st Annual Report, New York Zoological Society, Department of Reptiles, pp. 17-18.
-----. 1959. 64th Annual Report, New York Zoological Society, Department of Reptiles, p. 21.
Ouwens, P.A. 1912. On a large Varanus species from the Island of Komodo. Bulletin, Jardin Botanique Buitenzorg, 6:1-3.
Parker, H.W. 1946. The dragons of Komodo. Zoo Life (London), 1(3):85-87.
Pfeffer, P. 1959. Observations sur le varan de Komodo. (Varanus komodoensis Ouwens, 1912).
Terre et la Vie (Paris), 106(2/3):195-243. (In French)
Piazzini, G. 1960. The Children of Lilith. New York:E.P. Dutton, 192pp. Translated from the French by Peter Green. (The Piazzini Expedition to Komodo of which Pfeffer was a member.)
Pope, C.H. 1955. The Reptile World, A Natural History of the Snakes, Lizards, Turtles and Crocodilians. New York:Alfred Knopf, 325pp.
Proctor, J.B. 1929. On a living komodo dragon (Varanus komodoenis Ouwens) exhibited at the Scientific Meeting, October 23, 1928. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, pp. 1017-1029.
Ratcliffe, H.L. 1941. Report of the Penrose Research Laboratory of the Zoological Society of Philadelphia, p. 34.
-----. 1942. Report of the Penrose Research Laboratory of the Zoological Society of Philadelphia, p.26.
Rettich, M. 1949. Wie der drache von Komod entdeckt wurde. Arch Noah (Hamburg), l:188. (In German)
Reuther, R.T. and L.J. Goss. 1961. Official Guide Book, Cleveland Zoological Park, p. 21.
Rothschild, The Lord. 1927. Exhibition of a mounted specimen of Varanus komodoensis. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, p. 256.
Sachs, W.B. 1927. Neues und zusammengefasstes von riesenwaran der Komodo-Inseln, Varanus komodoensis Ouwens. Blatter fur Aquarien und Terrarienkunde (Stuttgart), 38(22):450-456. (In German)
Schmidt, K.P. and R.F. Inger. 1957. Living Reptiles of the World. Garden City, New York: Hanover House, 287pp.
Shaw, C.E. 1963. Dragons big and bold. Zoonooz (San Diego), 36(10):3-7.
Tanzer, E.L. and JHR. W.C. Van Heurn. 1938. Observations made by E.L. Tanzer and Jhr. W.C. van Heurn with Reference to the propagation of the Varanus komodoensis Ouwens. Treubia, 16 (3):365-368.
Vierheller, G.P. 1937. Official Guide Book, St. Louis Zoological Gardens, Issued by the Zoological Board of Control, St. Louis, p. 64.
Vorstman, A.G. 1928. Varanen en pythons. De Tropsche Natuur, (Buitenzorg), 17:30. (In Dutch)
-----. 1933. The Septa in the ventricle of the heart of Varanus komodoensis. Proceedings of the Section of Science, Koninklijke Academie van Wetenschapen, te Amsterdam, 36(10):911-913.
Wendt, H. 1959. Varanus komodoensis In: Out of Noah' s Ark. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, pp. 366- 372.

Anon. 1992. (Komodo dragons). Dieren, 9(2):34. (In Danish).
Auffenberg, W. 1972. Komodo dragons. Natural History, 81(4):52-59.
-----. 1978. Social and feeding behavior in Varanus komodoensis. In: N. Greenberg and P.D. McLean, eds., Behavior and Neurology of Lizards: An Interdisciplinary Colloquium, National Institute of Mental Health (Rockville, Md. ), pp. 301-336.
-----. 1981. The Behavioral Ecology of the Komodo Monitor. Gainesville, FL: University of Presses of Florida, 406 pp.
Bacon, J.P. 1975-76. Thermoregulation in Varanus komodoensis in captivity-- a preliminary report.
American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums Regional Conference Proceedings, pp. 211-214.
Bacon, J.P., J.L. Behler, J. Groves, and W. Zeigler. 1983. The Komodo Monitor Consortium.
American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums Annual Conference Proceedings, pp. 63-67.
Behler, J.L. 1986. The komodo monitor consortium - 1986. American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums Annual Conference Proceedings, pp. 159-161.
Benirschke, K. 1986. Vanishing Animals. New York: Springer-Verlag.
Benirschke, K. and A. Kumamoto. 1981. At last - the chromosomes of the komodo dragon. Zoonooz, 54(8):16.
Brouwer, K. 1993. Unique births of Varanus komodoensis. Lacerta, 51(5):152-154.
Forcelli, D.A. 1987. Dragon de komodo. En Peligro Extincion, 1(2):2pp.
Farlow, J.O. 1983. Dragons and dinosaurs. Paleobiology, 9(3):207-210.
Green, B., D. King, M. Braysher, and A. Saim. 1991. Thermoregulation water turnover and energetics of free-living komodo dragons Varanus komodoensis. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A: Comparative Physiology, 99(1-2):97-102.
Gunther, A. 1992. Auf den inseln der komodo-drachen. Datz, 45(3):194-197.
Horn, H.G. 1985. Contributions to the behavior of monitor lizards the ritual fights of Varanus komodoensis and Varanus semiremex as well as the display phases of the ritual fights of Varanus timorensis timorensis and Varanus timorensis similis. Salamandra, 21(2-3):169-179. (In German)
Hansen, K. 1984. (A dead goat is the prize for the komodo dragon. The world' s largest reptile can mean a very dangerous encounter.) Kaskelot, No. 61:18-24.
Judd, H.L., J.P. Bacon, D. Rueedi, J. Girard, K. Benirschke,and P.J.S. Olnrey (Ed.). 1977. Dermination of sex in the komodo dragon Varanus komodoensis. International Zoo Yearbook, 17:208-209.
Lange, J. 1989. Observations on the komodo monitors Varanus komodoensis in the zoo aquarium Berlin West Germany. International Zoo Yearbook, 28:151-153.
Lange, J. 1991. Drei komodowarane im zoo-aquarium Berlin. Datz, 44(10):656-659.
Lutz, D. and J.M. Lutz. 1991. Komodo: the Living Dragon. Salem, OR: Dimi Press, 174pp.
McNabb, B.K. and W. Auffenberg. 1976. The effect of large body size on the temperature regulation of the komodo dragon Varanus-komodoensis. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology A. Comparative Physiology, 55(4):345-350.
Padian, K. 1981. Komodo dragons fit Triassic trackways. Zoonooz, 54(12):16-17.
Padian, K. and P.E. Olson. 1984. Footprints of the komodo monitor and the trackways of fossil reptiles. Copeia, 1984(3):662-671.
Pecenko, N. 1989. Dragons from the island of Komodo. Proteus, 52(7):243-250.
Piropato, C. 1995. Komodo: A modern dragon. Zootails (Fort Wayne Zoo), May/June:1-3. (Also found as a supplement in Wildlife Conservation, 98(3):F1-F3.
Preston, D.J. 1982. Komodo dragon. Natural History, 91(3):72.
Rese, R. 1988. Contribution to the longevity of large monitor lizards in captivity. Sauria, 10(1):25-26. (In German with English summary).
Roberson, M.-R. 1988. And here be dragons...of a different sort. Zoogoer, 17(4):10,11.
Rookmaaker, L.C. 1975. The history of some komodo dragons Varanus-komodoensis captured on Rintja Indonesia in 1927. Zoologische Mededelingen (Leiden), 49(6):65-71.
Ruempler, G. 1992. Auf den supren der letzten drachen - zu bezuch bei den riesenwaranen der insel komodo. Zeitschrift des Koelner Zoo, 35(4): 139-150.
Stevens, J. 1993. Facing the dragons. International Wildlife, 23(3):30-34.
Studer, P. 1971. Experiences in rearing komodo dragons. Herpetological Review, 3(2): 32.
Surahya, S. 1989. Komodo: Studi Anatomi dan Kedudukannya Dalam Sistematik Hewan. Yogyakarta: Gadjah Mada University Press, 324pp. (Anatomy and classification).
Suzuki, N. and T. Hamada. 1992. Quadruped function of the komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) in a wild habitat. Scientific Papers of the College of Arts and Sciences, University of Tokyo, 42(1):79-94.
Suzuki, N., K. Igarashi, and T. Hamada. 1991. Bipedal standing facility of Varanus komodoensis reptilia in a wild habitat. Scientific Papers of the College of Arts and Sciences, 41(2):95-105.
Verbiest, G. 1992. Draken op komodo (Dragons on Komodo). Dieren, 9(4):113-116. (In Danish).
Verbiest, G. 1992. Komodovaranen in dierentuinen (Komodo dragons in zoos). Dieren, 9(4): 117-118. (In Danish).
Walsh, T. and R. Rosscoe. 1993. Komodo monitors hatch at the National Zoo. Vivarium (Lakeside), 4(5):13.
Walsh, T. , R. Rosscoe, and G.F. Birchard. 1993. Dragon tales. The history, husbandry, and breeding of komodo monitors at the National Zoological Park. Vivarium (Lakeside), 4(6):23-26.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Laporan singkat Wae Wuul


Peninjauan lapangan ke Pos Jaga Cagar Alam Wae Wuul, Labuan Bajo.

16 Desember 2007.

Anggota tim :

M Jeri Imansyah (KSP)

Suprihatna (KSDA NTT)

Albert Berelaku (KSDA NTT)

Yohannes (KSDA NTT)

Cosmas Pandu (KSDA NTT)

David (Konsultan)

Perjalanan dimulai dari Labuan Bajo menuju pos jaga CA Wae Wuul melalui beberapa desa di sekitar kawasan CA Wae Wuul. Kegiatan ini dilakukan untuk meninjau kondisi pos jaga dan kondisi kawasan di sekitar pos jaga. Berikut beberapa temuan yang perlu dilaporkan dari hasil pengamatan di lapangan;

  1. Kondisi pos

Kondis pos jaga yang dibangun pada tahun 1996 sudah dalam keadaan rusak. Beberapa bagian pos sudah rusak parah dan perlu segera diperbaiki. Kerusakan tersebut adalah :

    1. Instalasi air seperti bak air sudah retak dan rusak parah, pipa banyak yang patah, bak sumber air terlalu pendek.
    2. Lantai retak-retak,
    3. Kamar mandi dan septiptank tidak berfungsi,
    4. Tidak terdapat ruag dapur,
    5. Plafon rusak parah,
    6. Instalasi listrik rusak parah,
    7. Ventilasi dan sirkulasi cahaya matahari kamar tidur tidak memadai,

  1. Rencana perbaikan

Beberapa hal perbaikan pos jaga yang menjadi prioritas adalah sebagai berikut;

- perbaikan instalasi air, termasuk perbaikan bak penampungan air dan menyediakan satu bak air atau saluran khusus untuk keperluan masyarakat sekitar pos jaga

- perbaikan lantai

- perbaikan dinding, termasuk pemindahan jendela dan perbaikan ventilasi

- perbaikan atap dan plafon

- perbaikan instalasi listrik

- penambahan teras

- penambahan dapur

- penambahan satu kamar tidur

- pemindahan kamar mandi

- perbaikan septiptank

- penambahan tanggul di belakang bangunan pos jaga

  1. Pelaksanaan perbaikan

Perbaikan pos jaga akan dilaksanakan dalam waktu dekat dengan mempertimbangkan kondisi cuaca (musim hujan) yang sangat mempengaruhi kondisi jalan (berlumpur dan licin) karena sangat mempengaruhi proses pengiriman bahan bangunan dan alat. Pelaksanaan kegiatan akan dikoordinasikan dengan BBKSDA NTT.

Denpasar, 17 Desember 2007

M Jeri Imansyah




In regard of Collaboration preparation between Komodo Survival Program and the Balai Besar Konservasi Sumber Daya Alam NTT.

A field trip to visit Wae Wuul Nature Reserve was conducted on December 16th, 2007, as part of our partnership with KSDA NTT to implement capacity building and conservation project of Komodo dragon and it’s environment on Flores. From the field trip, we identified several key findings that are important to implement.

  1. Renovation of Ranger Station.

Current ranger station is urgently to renovate as it is important to provide a more suitable condition for the rangers, volunteers, researchers, and stakeholders to utilize the station as basecamp of conservation works in WWNR.

  1. Reconstruction of zonation.

Most of the border marks (Pal, In Bahasa Indonesia) are missing. Thus the border in which separating nature reserve area and private land is unclear. This situation is could potentially causing a conflict between WWNR authority and local communities around the reserve area.

  1. Developing biodiversity and key species data base.

To date, no scientific information on biodiversity potential of WWNR is available as basic for the reserve authority to design and implement appropriate conservation and management strategies. Thus biodiversity assessment and documentation as well as developing data base are necessary to undertake.

  1. Developing specific study, monitoring and conservation strategies of Komodo dragon including the habitat.

Considering the habitat of Wae Wuul, a specific monitoring and conservation strategies of Komodo dragon and other key species, including the habitat should be considered to design. This requires a comprehensive assessment of potential and threats. Broad scale involvement of various stakeholders is necessary.

  1. Capacity building.

To enhance capacity and human resource skill of KSDA NTT staff in managing Komodo dragon and other key biodiversity in WWNR, capacity building activities, i.e trainings should be implemented. Specific trainings should be carried out base on the needs and priority that important to the management in WWNR.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Komodo-human interaction guideline : DRAFT

We are now developing a Komodo dragon and human interaction management protocol that provided for the Komodo National Park authority to manage human-komodo interaction within tourism-concession areas. This draft is need to be further developed, therefore any suggestion are most welcome... to give comment or suggestion, please email us at or, or phone +62 361 7420434, or fax +62 361 710352.




Komodo National Park was established in 1980 to ensure the long-terms survival of Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis), the largest living lizard in the world and the quality of its habitat (Erdman, 2004). Komodo dragon is protected species under Indonesian government regulation No. 8 1999 (Indonesia.1999). It is also listed in appendix I CITES, classified as vulnerable by IUCN (World Conservation Monitoring Center, 1996). Recently, the endangered status of Komodo dragons has been proposed to be updated following the reduction on populations, distribution and the evidence of population fragmentations (Ciofi & de Boer 2004).

Human activities within Komodo National Park has been existing before Komodo National Park established; even it is might be limited to human and wildlife interaction on local community such as nature resource harvesting (including terrestrial fruits and marine life). Apart from local community, human activities in tourism sector increased after Komodo National Park established, although UNESCO reported the statistical number of visitor showed steady decrease since 1997 to 2001 (from 29,842 to 12,612 respectively). With approximately 3000 people living in the park (located in Komodo Island, Rinca Island and Papagaran Island) (Erdman 2004) and a numbers of tourist visit Komodo National Park, it is important for management authority to manage human activities wisely along with wildlife (especially Komodo dragon and its habitat) in regard to create sustainable profitable human activities within the park including tourisms.

Due to the occurrence of interaction between human and Komodo dragon, therefore, the management authority will require a guideline for managing sort of interaction. A guideline on how human and wildlife could interact for sustainability of live hood with survival of wildlife is necessary to be developed. The guideline is including certain procedures that can be implemented by park authority within Komodo National Park.

Identification of Issues

1. How to reduce human impact on Komodo dragon and other wildlife

Wild animals are sensitive to variety of human activities, such as Bald Eagles are sensitive to visibility and noise levels (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2007). The impact of human activities on Komodo dragon has documented by Lilley in Monk et al (2000), especially feeding attraction for tourist that change the natural behavior of Komodo dragons for hunting their preys. Another evidence were reported by Purwandana (2007) where nesting female avoiding human that approach to their nest.

2. How to increasing presence of Komodo dragons and others wildlife as tourism attraction.

In contrary, within tourism area, there are evidences of Komodo dragons difficult to find by tourist especially during mating season. There are several actions needed to solve the problems on managing the Komodo dragons along the tourism path.

3. How to reduce Komodo dragon’s impact on humans

The park authority should prevent the probability of wild life attack on human (villagers and tourists). The occurrences of Komodo dragon attack people (villager and tourist) should be consider as references on managing this animals when interact with people.

Management actions

Several management actions are required to be implemented by park authority in order to address the issues;

1. Alternative jungle tracking / tourist paths.

à Alternative tourist path are necessary to established as substitute to the existing paths that crossing or near Komodo dragon’s nests is essential to construct and utilize during nesting season to reduce disturbance to females.

2. Limit number of visitors in a group

To reduce human impact on Komodo dragons:

à Limit the maximum number of people in a tracking group (We recommend not more than 10 people). The aim of this action is to minimize impact of visitors disturbing Komodo dragons and other wildlife.

à The gap between groups should be hold for 10 (ten) minutes each. This should be followed by sufficient number of guides. Maintaining gaps between groups will reduce the impact of human on wildlife, by minimizing contact between wildlife (especially Komodo dragons) and human. Funds should be provided for radio tranceivers to be allocated to rangers during guiding tours, in order for them to communicate with the sentry post and coordinate walking paces with preceding or following tourist groups.

à For specific flora or fauna observation interest, such as birdwatching, activities, it is more comfortable a group consist of maximum 3 people.

3. Establish observation platform or tower.

à This kind of action should be taken in order to reducing impact of human activities to active Komodo dragons nest or Megapode bird nest. The observation platform/tower could be permanently far from nest location (Jessop et al. 2004 has identified almost all nest location in Komodo Island). Another option is the alternative paths during nesting activities (Komodo dragons and Megapode bird).

4. Waste Management

Waste management should eliminate the attractiveness of Komodo dragon and other animals disturbing rubbish, and change the animal’s behavior to stay around the camp.

à Plastics material should not left in the islands. Plastics bags (from food) could eat by Komodo dragons and damage their digestive system.

à Rubbish from food (chicken/fish bones) should left from bungalows, ranger’s kitchens, and restaurant because Komodo dragons may still hang around the camp and change their natural behavior such as hunting. However, this is not immediately change the behavior of Komodo dragons around the camp, as the present situation has been going on for long time ago (more than 10 years).

5. Terrestrial Monitoring and Surveillance.

à Terrestrial monitoring and surveillance should focus on how to reduce number of illegal poaching (especially for deer) and illegal logging. Partially in Loh Liang, Illegal deer poaching might not occurred. However, evidence of illegal logging (including harvesting Tamarind and Srikaya fruit) in Loh Loh liang are frequently happened by villagers. Consider Loh Liang as tourism area, totally eliminate villagers activities are important. As the result, compensation area should be provided (Loh Kubu and Loh Bube)

6. Hanging bait

à Hanging bait might be performed in order to increase number of Komodo dragons sighting. However, this have to be wisely execute in order to eliminate behavior changes, therefore the Komodo dragon still hunt their preys. This can be done such as in random place and random time (once every month) along tourist paths

7. Establish and maintain artificial waterponds

à To increase wildlife sighting, rearrange artificial waterponds might become a consideration. This was demonstrated by Smit et al. (2007) on ungulates distributions in Africa are affected by location of artificial waterhole. Artificial waterhole may include next to the nest to increase probability of nesting females get enough food for body recovery.

8. Educations

à Certain education should conducted by park to villagers, people from Flores and Sumbawa mainland, including tourist. The material of education should encourage people to be wisely interact with wildlife, safety information when visit park, educate people to responsible of their own rubbish.

Komodo monitoring guideline : DRAFT

We are now developing a Komodo dragon and terrestrial wildlife and habitat monitoring protocol that provided for the Komodo National Park authority. This draft is need to be further developed, therefore any suggestion are most welcome... to give comment or suggestion, please email us at or, or phone +62 361 7420434, or fax +62 361 710352.




In archipelagoes such as Indonesia, a nation with extraordinary high levels of biodiversity and endimicity, and where human perturbation is not uncommon, even within protected areas, overcoming the intrinsic biogeographic variation of managing such biodiversity is likely to be another challenge for conservation efforts. Komodo National Park (KNP) is a world heritage site, this area has a high biodiversity of tropical marine and the only potential habitat of giant endemic reptile Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis). Like most of National Parks in Indonesia, wildlife management in KNP restrain by less of reliable monitoring data base, because of limited source of fund, logistic, and local staff capability (Jessop et al., 2004). This guideline provides methods which technically can be adopted and used by KNP management to collect high accuracy and reliable database.


The major outcomes of this guideline are to increase knowledge of differences among island within

KNP with respect to prey availability and its influence on the demographic features of Komodo dragon populations. Second, collection of the appropriate life-history information that can be used to build specific population models that could assist in the management and conservation of key terrestrial species within KNP. Third, increasing the capacity of staff from KNP to effectively monitor wildlife populations within the park.

Specific Aims to research:

1. Life history and demographic differences in Komodo dragon populations across 4 islands within KNP.

Mark-Recapture studies should be used to assess demographic variation among island populations with respect to the following demographic parameters:

a) Population abundance of Komodo dragons at 10 study sites across four islands.

b) Age specific growth rates of Komodo dragons at 10 study sites.

c) Spatial ecology of Komodo dragons at 10 study sites

d) Assessing annual female reproductive rates across specific island sites

e) Hatchling production to assess variation in recruitment

f) Sex ratio.

Also recommend for further studies

f) Age specific survival rates of Komodo dragons at 10 study sites.

g) Parasitological (health and desease) of Komodo dragon

2. Prey density and diversity among four islands within Komodo National Park.

These monitoring activities will quantify temporal and spatial difference of large ungulate prey within Komodo National Park. Key criteria gathered from this monitoring include the following parameters. Knowledge of these parameters is essential for determining interactions between Komodo dragon and their prey.

a) Spatial and insular differences in density of Timor deer in KNP.

b) Spatial and insular differences in density of wild pigs in KNP.

c) Spatial and insular differences in density of water buffalo in KNP.

d) Spatial and insular differences in density of rats in KNP.

e) Spatial and insular differences in density of tokay geckos in KNP.

3. Assessment of habitat and other key and endangered species

a) Assessment of food resource (grass) availability

b) Active nest of Megapode birds

c) Active nest and direct population counting by vantage count for Cockatoo

d) Monitoring diversity of birds

e) Assessment the presence of exotic/invasive species


Field Methods

1. Life history and demographic differences in Komodo dragon populations across 4 islands within KNP.

Mark Recapture is a very effective method that most scientists implement to collect information on population ecology, age specific growth rates and spatial ecology (inter valley or inter islands migration) of Komodo dragon. Radio telemetry method is applied to assess more detail spatial ecology, i.e. movement pattern, home range, and behavior. Nest survey method that implemented transect grids method is very useful to assess annual female reproductive rates. Nest fencing method also useful to assess variation in recruitment by counting hatchling production from active nests.

Mark recapture

Komodo dragons are captured by baited trap, noose or by hand. These methods are extremely effective for capturing all size classes of monitor above yearlings, which are largely arboreal. This trapping technique requires a 300 cm x 50 cm x 50 cm long box traps baited with goat meat (≈ 0.5 kg). Distance between traps is recommended between 200 m and 700 m from each other, depending on topographical and vegetation. Traps are positioned in shaded areas in order to avoid overheating of trapped individuals and are checked twice daily.

Following capture, Komodo dragons are restrained with rope and their mouths taped shut. Several morphological characters, including head length, and snout to vent length (SVL) are measured using calipers and a fiberglass tape. Body mass is obtained using digital scales. Komodo dragons are permanently identified using passive integrated transponders (i.e. PIT tags- Trovan ID100) inserted in to their left hind leg.

Mark recapture data then are entered into a central data base (Excel) and then transferred to demographic programs including MARK which will enable estimation of key demographic processes including population growth.

Radio telemetry

Radio telemetry is applied to assess a fine scale spatial ecology, especially to determine movement pattern and home range of Komodo dragon. This method requires transmitters, receivers, and antennas to be able to locate monitored animals. Transmitters are attached to selected animals either by harness, duct taped, or glued to the base of tail as it is considered the best site for placement. Attaching transmitters on juveniles by means of a harness was not feasible, thus use of duct tape or glue are consider the most feasible. Individuals are located either by direct observation or triangulation techniques (White & Garrot 1990). During tracking, certain parameters for habitat type or tree visited by animals recorded as follows; habitat type, tree species, breast height diameter, and tree height. Data will be calculated by means of a computer program ESRI ArcView 3.2 (ESRI 1999) with X-Tolls and Animal Movement program (Hooge et al. 2003).

Nest surveys by implementing transect grids

Field method implemented to inventory Komodo dragon nesting sites is consisted of intensive focal sampling across consecutive transect grids. This method involved multiple observers (5–8) walking at intervals of approximately 25 m apart along a series of parallel transects marked with projected GPS way points. The length and number of transects in each valley was defined by the prevailing topography of the valley. The purpose of these comprehensive transects was to identify and mark (with GPS point) all potential Komodo nesting sites and all megapode nests within each valley up to an elevation of 100 m above sea level. Once all nest are located, following annual monitoring are not require another intensive focal sampling, enough by checking the status of all marked nests and identify whether it is active or not.

Komodo dragons are known to use three types of nest and categorized as follows:

1) Ground nests- consisting of deep sloping horizontal burrows constructed in the ground.

2) Hill nests- typically consisting of large excavations resulting in one or more tiered platforms across the face of the hill. Into these excavations females would dig an egg chamber alongside a number of decoy chambers. These nests are situated in open savanna grassland which covers most low hillsides.

3) Mound nests- Komodo dragons utilized mound nests constructed by orange footed scrub fowl. Active Scrub-fowl mound nests are distinguished from active Komodo mound nests chiefly by the amount of debris and recent diggings that had occurred, particularly during August and September. This is fairly easy to determine as Orange-footed Scrub-fowl nest earlier in the year, with eggs recorded from January until April (Lincoln, 1974), plus megapode nests tend to incorporate vegetative debris into the mound and the chambers into which the birds oviposit (Frith, 1956; Jones et al., 1995).

Komodo dragon nests are identified by the presence of large chambers up to 2 meters long sloping into a nest. These nesting chambers are distinguished from resting chambers (Auffenberg, 1981) by the presence of multiple decoy chambers. Komodo dragon nests are confirmed active by the presence of recent digging activity by females (beginning in August) or by repeated observations of the female in association with the nest (August through November). Inactive Komodo dragon nests are confirmed by the absence of recent digging activity or female guarding the nest throughout the nesting season. These inactive nests are known to be used by Komodo dragons due to observations by park rangers (prior to the current season) of female digging and nest attendance activities or due to changes in structural characteristics, particularly the size and number of chambers in the nest. The density of active and inactive Komodo dragon nests is analyzed by dividing total nest number for each category by the area searched as calculated by shape polygons using Arc view 3.1 (ESRI). As an index of nest dispersion, the mean nearest neighbor measurement was calculated between valleys as the average distance to the closest neighbor from each active nest in a survey location.

Komodo dragon active nests monitoring should be undertook during early nesting season (August-September) each year. Monitored nests on Komodo and Rinca can refer to Jessop (2007) data.

Nest fencing

Komodo dragon nests are confirmed active by the presence of recent digging activities by females (beginning in August) or by repeated observations of the female in association with the nest (August through November). Active Komodo nest will be guarded by associated female that laid her eggs in the nest for about 3-4 months (August-December). Once the female that guarding active nest is leaving, by late December, nest need to be fenced by 1,5 meter metal-sheeting plate. This fence is constructed to avoid emerged hatchling escapes before counted and measure, also to give protection to the hatchlings from being attacked by predators. Once nest-fence established, the nest should be checked twice daily. When hatchlings emerge from nest, all hatchlings are needed to capture, measure, and permanently marked. After all emerged hatchlings are released from the nest, to assess fecundity nest should be dug, to find and count the number of eggs and compared to number hatchlings that emerged.

Genetic and health studies

For further study, sex ratio and age specific survivorship of Komodo dragon by mean of genetic analysis and long term mark recapture method is highly recommended. Blood samples (300 µl) are collected from the caudal vein of new individuals (please refer to previous work of Jessop et al 2002-2006 of CRES ZSSD to identify marked and unmarked animals), using a 21 g needle and 3ml syringe, to enable further genetic sexing analysis of dragons. These blood samples should be stored and transported by staff of Balai Komodo National Park prior to further analysis at Genetic lab in Indonesia, i.e. LIPI.

Individual and population health of Komodo dragons is an important point that also necessary to monitor. Parasitological condition should be monitored by mean of fecal analysis and direct observation for thick that exists on the Komodo skin.

2. Prey density and diversity among four islands within Komodo National Park.

Assessment of density in large prey

Three species of large ungulate prey including the Timor deer (Cervus timorensis florensis), Wild pig (Sus scrofa) and Water buffalo (Babulus bubalus) are monitored by implementing indirect survey techniques (reviewed in Thompson et al. 1998) based on faecal counts: estimates from these techniques should be less influenced by the tendencies of prey to avoid people or be missed in forest. Counts of the standing crop of ungulate pellets or faecal pellet groups have been widely used to estimate the relative or absolute abundance of many ungulate species (Bennett et al., 1940; White, 1992; Thompson et al., 1998).

An indirect index of prey density is calculated using pellet counts on linear transects. Within each site between 20 and 49 permanent linier transects were randomly positioned and orientated (refer to Jessop 2007). Pellet groups are tallied from 30 sample plots placed across each 150 meter long transect. Each plot is a circle with a radius of 1 m and encompasses an area of 3.14 m2. All deer pellet groups within the plot were recorded. A group is standardized as a dense aggregation of pellets exceeding 40 pellets; groups below 40 are counted as individuals then divided by the mean pellet count (taken from counting 60 intact pellet groups). Pellet groups that are greater than 50% inside the plot area are counted as an entire group. To standardize seasonal differences, in pellet density it is important to conduct all pellet surveys across the 10 sites in late September and early October of 2006.

To calculate means bootstrapping technique is necessary to operate (Manly 1997), 95% confidence intervals (‘CI’) and CVs for the plot-based estimates of faeces abundance (per ha) for each large prey species at each site. Bootstrap estimates were based on 10 000 samples. The CV was:

Assessment of density in small prey

Rat (Rattus ratus)

Rats are captured by operating Elliot traps spaced at 10 meter intervals along randomly positioned trap-lines at each study site. Trap-lines placed with at least 200 m apart to reduce the possibility of animals being sampled by more than one trap-line. Trapped rats are individually identified, measured and released at the point of capture. Newly captured animals were given a unique mark by ear tagging. On their first capture during a trapping session animals are weighed and sexed. The head and body length is taken as being from the tip of the nose to the middle of cloaca, the tail length from the middle of cloaca to the tip of the tail. Tails with a terminal scar were assumed to be shortened and were excluded from measurement.

To assess differences in prey density among the five islands the plot counts, distance and mean number of rats per trap night should be undertook. The four sites on both Komodo and Rinca islands are pooled and used to infer a total island sample. Comparison of island means for each of the five species are analyzed by parametric and non-parametric analysis of variance depending on data meeting the assumptions of normality and homogeneity of sample variance. To discriminate significant differences among islands appropriate post- hoc methods (Tukey’s test and Dunn’s method) was used to identify subgroups.

Tokay Gecko (Gekko gecko)

Gekko gecko are monitored by using line transect technique. During the day prior to each survey mark out transect lines with fishing line marked for every five meters with flagging tape. All gecko surveys begin after dark, using powerful head-mounted 6V spotlights conducted by three people. Geckos counted by slowly walking along the transect line, searching every tree, shrub and vine mat within sight, on both sides of, and directly above the string. As often as possible walk off the transect line a few meters on either side; to give a wider range of viewing angles and the ability to more carefully search within trees directly above the transect line. When a gecko is sighted, measure the perpendicular distance at ground level directly beneath the gecko to the transect line (to within 0.1 m), and estimate the geckos height above ground to the nearest meter.

To estimate the density of geckos, use conventional Distance sampling method analysis. In this method the number of geckos located within the survey area are modelled as a function of perpendicular distance of the detected lizard from the line (Buckland et al. 2001). Data analysed using the program DISTANCE 4.2 release 1 (Buckland et al. 2001). DISTANCE is freeware available at, and is widely used for the analysis of line transect data.

3. Assessment of habitat and other terrestrial key with focus on endangered species

Vegetation monitoring

Vegetations are monitored by plot method; permanent plots are placed in each represented habitat composition on each of 10 study sites. A 20x20 m permanent plot is established to estimate tree density with number of plots repetition depends on habitat size. Seedlings and saplings should be estimate by established subplots. Grass as the main food for herbivore animal is also monitored by using similar plot method. Density of grass is estimated by measuring 10 1x1 meter permanent plots in each of 10 study sites. Morphological characters like tree and grass species, DBH, height and canopy cover are measured by plastic measuring tape.

Active nest of Orange-footed Scrub-fowl (Megapodius reindwardt)

Orange-footed Scrub-fowl build conspicuous incubation mounds (Jones et al. 1995, Palmer et al. 2000). For each mound located, we recorded the location, elevation, status (active or inactive), overhead vegetation cover (0-25, 26-50, 51-75, or 76-100%), adjacent vegetation type (open forest, closed forest, savanna, or grasslands), and soil type (loamy, sandy, rocky, or gravelly). Inventoring incubation mounds is implemented by intensive focal samplings across consecutive transect grids with multiple observers (5 - 8) walking at 25-m intervals along parallel transects. The length and number of transects in each valley were determined by topography. Following annual monitoring will not require another intensive focal sampling, enough by check the status of all marked nest and identify whether its active or not. Structural characters of each mound are also need to recorded, including length, width, height, number of chambers excavated in each mound, and adjacent habitat type.

Active scrub-fowl mounds are those used for breeding during breeding season, and are distinguished from inactive mounds by evidence of recent digging, incorporation of new leaf litter, and, in some instances, the presence of adults at a nest or the presence of their tracks. Inactive mounds are those not being used in that breeding season and ranged from mounds with egg chambers containing old leaf litter to flattened mounds with no evidence of activity and covered in grass. The density of active Orange-footed Scrubfowl nests is calculated by dividing total nest number for each category by the area searched as calculated by shape polygons using Arcview 3.1 (ESRI). As an index of nest dispersion, the mean nearest neighbor measurement is calculated within valleys as the average distance to the closest neighbor from each nest in a survey location.

Due to the difficulty of measuring egg predation directly, we can use an index of predation based on the presence of fresh excavations into the egg chambers of active scrubfowl nests. Predators are identified by their tracks and associated burrowing as either Komodo dragons or wild pigs (Sus scrofa). Excavation by predators is likely to be repaired by scrubfowl, so observed excavations are likely made in the week preceding the survey.

Active nest and direct population counting by vantage count for Yellow-crested Cockatoo (Cacatua sulphurea)

Active nests survey

Nest survey is carried out by systematic searches (Mexquida, 2004) across consecutive transect grids, in which multiple observers (3-5 persons) walked at ≈ 25 meter intervals along parallel transects. The length and number of transects in each valley is defined by the prevailing topography of the valley. Nest searching is carried out across the valleys and including hills up to 60 meters elevation. Active nests are indicated by the present of young(s) in the nest and parents guarding the nesting location.

Once an active nest was located, data should be taken to record characteristics including location (GPS position), elevation, adjacent vegetation type (Open forest, closed forest, savanna), and nesting tree species. Structural characters of each nest are also recorded including tree DBH, tree height, and nest height. Nest locations are marked by means of GPS Garmin Etrex Vista (Garmin). Tree and nest height are measured by means of Suunto Clinometer (Suunto, Finland). To avoid disturbance to the occupants of the nests, nest parameters, i.e width, length, and depth, did not measured. To analyze the spatial distribution pattern, the nests were mapped and nearest neighbor-distances were calculated using the computer program of ArcView 3.1 (ESRI).

Population and Density Estimates

The Yellow-crested Cockatoo population estimate using direct counting of vantage point method in each valley (Bibby et al., 1992). Direct counting of vantage points method is carried out from hills, which provides observers a well suit observation points to observe the whole valleys and feasible to count all individuals sighted. To assess the density of this species within each valley, divide the highest number of the birds counted by the size of the valley. Sizes of the valleys are calculated by creating polygons, based on GPS points that collected during the field study, and covered the entire studied valley area on the map using the computer program of ArcView 3.2 (ESRI).

Monitoring diversity of birds

Inventory and monitoring of avifaunal diversity, can implement intensive focal sampling across permanent line transect. The length of each transect is 1 km, and number of transects in each valley are determined by topography and size of valley. Observer walking slowly across transect line, birds identified base on field guide. Duration of observation, number of observer must be recorded. Observation should be done minimum twice, early in the morning and afternoon (when the birds are most active).

Assessment the presence of exotic/invasive species

Field methods used to inventory presence of exotic/invasive species consisted of intensive focal sampling across consecutive transects grids. This method involved multiple observers (5–8) walking at intervals of approximately 25 m apart along a series of parallel transects marked with projected GPS way points, and then record all the exotic/invasive species (e.g. cactus, dogs, cats). The length and number of transects in each valley was defined by the prevailing topography of the valley. The purpose of these comprehensive transects was to try and identify all presence of exotic/invasive species within each valley. Once exotic species identified and located, further monitoring should be undertook on the same location. Further, elimination efforts should be consider preventing disturbances to the native wildlife and habitat in the Komodo National Park.

Komodo dragon management protocol : DRAFT

We are now developing a Komodo dragon population management protocol that provided for the Komodo National Park authority. This draft is need to be further developed, therefore any suggestion are most welcome... to give comment or suggestion, please email us at or, or phone +62 361 7420434, or fax +62 361 710352.






A guideline is crucial to be developed as reference for the management of Komodo dragons, associated prey species, and their habitat. The guideline is provided for the management authority in response primarily to these following management issues:

· Declines in populations of Komodo dragons;

· Declines in populations of prey populations of Komodo dragons;

· Declines in habitat of Komodo dragons or their prey;

· Disturbances to Komodo dragons during mating;

· Disturbances to nesting females;

· Feeding of Komodo dragons – should this be allowed, and if so under what circumstances should it be allowed and what conditions?

· Creation of new ponds and the maintenance of existing ponds;

· Frequency of monitoring and management of data; and

· Translocation of dragons between islands and/or the mainland.

Current Status of Komodo dragons and affecting factors

Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) is listed in the Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and classified as Vulnerable by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN 2000). The range of the Komodo dragon has decreased significantly over the last three decades due to several threatening processes including the suspected decline of large prey, such as Timor deer (Cervus timorensis) and anthropic habitat fragmentation and disturbances. Degradation of the environment is considered to be a major threatening process that could influence the viability of the extant dragon populations.


Density estimates of Komodo dragons were significantly different among four major islands in the Komodo National Park. Population density on Rinca (30.58 ind/km2) was significantly higher compared to the three other islands (18.82, 13.38, and 11.80 ind/km2 for islands of Komodo, Gili Motang and Nusa Kode respectively). Population abundance was varied among island with the highest was in Rinca (1046) and followed by Komodo (672), Gili Motang (127) and Nusa Kode (87) (Table 1). Dragon density estimates were significantly correlated to the density index of deer on each island. Insular population estimates of Nusa Kode and Gili Motang approximate or fall below several theoretical thresholds used to flag extinction proneness. Demographic stochasticity is usually the major component threatening population viability when the population size is in the order of 100 individuals or smaller.



Density (ind/km2)


















Table 1. Density and abundance estimation of Komodo dragon in the Komodo National Park

* Obtained by measuring valleys that similar to study sites

** Results from extrapolation


Komodo dragons displayed a declining trend in female nesting activities. In 2002, twenty seven (27) nests were recorded active, in subsequent years, the numbers declined to 22, 17, 17, and 7 in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006 (Figure 1a). Annually, 12 – 36 hatchlings are emerge from nests in February or March (averaged 19 hatchlings per nest per year) as new recruitment. Female’s reproduction related-activities was varied between months and showed a significant changes between July – September (Figure 1b). During the nesting activity, a female spend more energy to build and guard her nest and appears associated with a period of reduced feeding as females are observed to decrease weight (on average 3.42 kg). The interesting interval for females is variable, with only one female recorded nesting in 4 consecutive years, two females were active for two consecutive years; most females were recorded active only once. This suggests that most females are breeding less than annually.


Movement of hatchlings from their nests was largely linear consistent with natal dispersal. Rates of daily movement and size of activity areas in hatchlings were significantly less compared to juveniles (Table 2). However, habitat use in both classes of immature Komodo dragons was similar, both preferentially utilizing dry monsoon forest over other more xeric habitat types. During their early life stage hatchlings were predominantly arboreal compared to juveniles, and the degree of arboreal activity was strongly correlated with an individual’s size.

In adults, both female and male Komodo dragons displayed monthly variation in the daily movement and size of activity area (Figure 2). Nesting females exhibited nest-centered activities during the nesting period (August to December). Nesting females increased their rates of daily movement and size of activity areas after the third month. However, their core areas were not significantly different between months. Rates of daily movement in Adult male Komodo dragons varied among months. The highest movement rates were recorded in June, when the mating season begins and the lowest were in September, when the mating season ended and the females started nesting.

In general, rates of daily movement and activity areas in larger Komodo dragons were significantly larger compared to small dragons. Distance of movement and size of activity areas were significantly correlated with individual’s body size (Table 1). These distinct differences in spatial ecology suggest important changes in selection pressures operating on different size classes of Komodo dragons.

Table 2. Size, distance and size of activity areas of Komodo dragons.


Annual density indices for large prey of Komodo dragons, Timor Deer (Cervus timorensis), indicated fluctuating trends over the last four years and potentially in decline. Overall prey density was correlated with island area with deer density on the larger islands of Komodo and Rinca been significantly higher than that of the smaller islands. The highest average density for deer was recorded on Komodo island (27.37), whilst the lowest was on Gili Motang (5.63).

Major threats

- Biological and ecological constraint

As other reptiles, Komodo dragon has a very limited number of hatchlings that survive become adult as high mortality during the first age. Young Komodos are threatened by predation, cannibalism, and also extreme weather condition (e.g. hard-contiguous rain). Yet, survivorship of Komodo dragon is still unknown by scientist yet and require further study.

- Decreasing on reproduction rate

Declining in reproduction rate can be recognized by decrease in number of annual active nest and in turn reduce number of recruitment into population. This pattern is driven by Females are also known decreasing its body condition during nesting period and reduce its reproductive ability. The decreasing is correlated with the availability of deer as main prey of female Komodo dragons. Females require source of energy to recover and prepare them for nesting.

- Declining in key prey species population (Timor deer)

Deer population is also known correlated to the insular population of Komodo dragons body condition and population size. It is also believe that disappearance of resident Komodo dragons on Padar Island is stemmed from the decline of Timor deer (Cervus timorensis) populations due to illegal hunting. It was reported that there were at least 37.5 % cases of law violations in Komodo National Park between 2000-2001 was illegal deer poaching. Deer population also threatened by the existence of exotic species such as feral dogs, particularly on Rinca island.

- Grassland fires

There are number of forest fires incident happened within last decades. During 2002-2006 at least six grassland fires occurred within Komodo National park. The fires could affect the wildlife and habitat composition. Event though some grass or shrub species are fire-adapted and could contribute on regeneration of habitat, nevertheless major threats that from fires is not to the savanna but to the adjacent forested areas. Fires could degrade suitable habitat for Komodo dragons and its associated prey species. Fires could be deliberated by natural causes (extreme dry condition) and human (fires for poaching deer, extracting honey bee).

- Illegal logging

Villagers are extracting logs as their firewood, housing, carving and boat materials even though it is prohibited. There were several illegal logging cases, particularly in Loh Liang, Loh Lawi (Komodo island) and Gili Motang island, occurred between 2003-2006. Damages that caused by this activity, in turn, could risk Komodo dragon population. Trees are important for Komodo dragon as sleeping shelter and hiding place from predator for hatchling and juvenile, and provide shade during hot day. Trees also used as shelter by deer which mean can provide source of food for Komodo dragons.

- Unsustainable fruit harvesting

Villagers are harvesting tamarind fruit mostly in July and August. Uncontrolled harvesting activities can affect in reducing food resources for Timor deer population, and disturb arboreal Komodo dragons. Numerous people that involved during the harvesting process could also increase disturbance to the wildlife and habitat.

- Exotic species

Feral dogs are known existing in the wild, particularly on Rinca island and occasionally hunt for deer and suspected as one of young Komodo dragons predator or competitor for adult. During 2002-2004 cactus were found and spread in Loh Buaya. This exotic plan was so dominating and reduce suitable habitat for Komodo dragons. With a specific insect that could kill cactus, this exotic plan can be eliminated from Loh Buaya. Those are as example how exotic species can be a threat to terrestrial wildlife and particularly Komodo dragons.

- Lack of terrestrial and remote areas security system

Terrestrial and remote areas (Gili Motang) surveillance was not as frequent as marine surveillance. This lack could increase human disturbances that can increase risks of illegal wildlife poaching, habitat fires, illegal logging.

Proposed Management guidelines

To assist park authority, we propose several efforts that could be implemented in managing the extant population of Komodo dragon and its associated terrestrial wildlife and habitat. It is should be underlined that, to increase local community’s participation in protecting wildlife and habitat, involving villagers are important in every level of management activities.

1. Habitat protection and management

1.1. Prevention on forest fire and illegal logging;

à Educate local people to not to use fire next to either grassland or forest and increase their participation on fire extinguish incident.

à Educate local people to not extract live tree, and offer alternative of wood for their needs, i.e solar, gasoline, etc.

à Educate visitors to not to use fire along path or during their visit.

à Regular surveillance across terrestrial areas with particular land patrol on high risk spots and law enforcement.

à Train park rangers and villagers in fire fighting techniques and provide fire fighting equipment which should be kept ready at any time (backpacks, machetes, shovels, , face masks, personal equipments).

1.2. Manage fruit harvesting activities by villagers

à Managing occasion and specific areas that compensated for villagers to harvest fruits from the park. In Loh Liang, it is recommended to assign Loh Bube and Loh Kubu (Eastern Loh Liang) as traditionally areas for fruit, particularly tamarind, harvesting.

à Regular surveillance across terrestrial areas with particular land patrol on high risk spots.

à Educate villagers to harvest natural fruits form the wild within allocated areas for harvesting and by mean of sustainable harvesting techniques without causing any damages to habitat.

1.3. Monitor impact from tourism activity

à Tourism activity will affect on environment and its wildlife, including establishment of facilities. Impacts that caused by should be minimize and monitored to ensure that this activity minimize disturbance to both animal and plans.

à Educate visitors and guides to not disturb animals or plans during their activities.

à Study effective number and appropriate timing for tourist that allowed visiting into the wild. It is necessary to reduce disturbance to animal, especially during breeding season.

1.4. Habitat rehabilitation

à Habitat rehabilitation efforts should only be undertaken in severely damaged areas to recover their original condition. Only native species should be planted and, if possible, seedlings should be obtained from adjacent areas.

à Prior to any large scale rehabilitation, a pilot study should be undertaken to study the success level.

à It is also necessary to design the rehabilitation to mimic natural succession pattern and species association.

2. Wildlife management and monitoring

2.1. Intensive monitoring on terrestrial wildlife

à Intensive monitoring activities on terrestrial wildlife should be carried out with particular reference to study and monitor annual trends on Komodo dragon population, reproduction ecology, growth rate, prey availability (including large and small mammals, reptiles), and change of threat risks. This kind of monitoring should be undertook with yearly basis

à Intensive monitoring activities should be also highlight Gili Motang population, due to its remoteness, high risks of local extinction of Komodo dragon populations, and lack of management implementation in the past.

2.2. Restricted supplemental feeding strictly only for nesting female during nesting period to maintain its condition to prepare nest, lay eggs, guarding nest, and reproduce again on next breeding season;

à A very strict supplemental feeding may be given to only nesting female. This can be only given to nesting females which is in a very poor condition. Supplemental feeding can be only given once a month at the most located near nesting female in order to give energy for female to recover from its severe lack of nutrition during nesting period.

2.3. Intensive surveillance activities, with particular reference on the western part of Komodo and Rinca island and on the smaller islands of Gili Motang and Nusa Kode to prevent wildlife and habitat disturbances;

à Related surveillance activities, such as regular terrestrial and remote areas patrol, should be established and maintained to ensure security and prevention from illegal poaching, forest fires, and illegal logging. This activity can also be benefit in eliminating exotic animals, e.g feral dogs. Surveillance activities should be done with monthly basis.

2.4. Establish and maintain artificial water hole (ponds) within Komodo dragons “hot spot” and near nesting areas for females;

à Establishing artificial water ponds are necessary to attract and increase wildlife presence. Concentrated animal near ponds can be benefit as source of food (prey) for nesting Komodo dragons and tourist attraction.

2.5. Intensive control of pests and exotic species (e.g. feral dogs, cats).

à Exotic species should be controlled or even removed to reduce disturbance to native species by capturing or eliminating efforts.

2.6. Implementation of long term population monitoring

à Long term monitoring would ensure that managers have robust data to address population trends and decide which conservation options that the most appropriate. Population monitoring should be done with at least for every three years.

2.7. Regular monitoring program to observe further changes (decline or incline) of Komodo dragon’s population, prey species, predator, habitat, and environmental condition (climate);

à Regular monitoring on affecting factors to the Komodo dragon population is essential to anticipate any changes which effecting the population.

à Monitoring programs should be implemented in regular time basis and refer to monitoring guideline.

3. Human-wildlife interaction Management

3.1. Intensive monitoring to observe impact from ecotourism activities within tourism areas.

3.2. Limit number of tourism activities around active nests during nesting period

à Limit and arrange number of visitors and visiting time within concession areas.

3.3. Establish alternative tourist paths and observation stations

à Alternative tourist path are necessary to established as substitute to the existing paths that crossing or near Komodo dragon’s nests is essential to construct and utilize during nesting season to reduce disturbance to females;

à Establish observation stations, i.e. near Komodo dragon nest, would be useful to allow visitors in observing female’s activity during nesting period and to observe other wildlife and their interaction. It is also would be useful to reduce impact from human-wildlife interaction.

3.4. Improve tourist education to reduce perturbation to the habitat, including wild fauna and flora, particularly the Komodo dragon.

à Educate visitors to not disturb wildlife and habitat during their visit, including prevention from fires, rubbish management, and interact with Komodo dragons and other wildlife.

3.5. Increase local community participation in protecting habitat and wildlife

à Increase local community’s awareness to increase their responsibilities and participation in habitat and wildlife protection

à Provide alternative income to reduce disturbance on habitat from harvesting actitivies.

4. Species Translocation

Translocation might be needed to recover a severe declining population and as the last option and other conservation has failed. As translocation process may risks remaining population at targeted location, this option should be undertaken only as a measure of last resort as natural restocking. This option could be only chosen if indispensable to recover population declines.

4.1. Translocation of ungulate, i.e. Timor deer, to Gili Motang to increase prey availability for Komodo dragon on this island. This option should consider following issues prior to implementation:

à Develop a strict standard procedure of relocation as this option is strictly chosen as last alternative as other measurements are fail, including pre release and training facilities and procedure.

à Conduct detail habitat assessment, prey population capacity, existing Komodo dragon population and carrying capacity on release site.

à Ensure the individuals that are translocated have the most genetically and ecologically analogous and in a very health condition between source and targeted population.

à Develop a reliable monitoring and security system.

4.2. Translocation of Komodo dragon individuals from high density islands and/or Indonesian zoological gardens to low density islands(s) as reservoir for the long term maintenance of genetic variability and prevent local extinction. However this option should consider these following issues prior to implementation :

à Develop a tight standard procedure of relocation as this option is strictly chosen as last alternative as other measurements are fail, including pre release and training facilities and procedure.

à Conduct detail habitat assessment, prey population capacity, existing Komodo dragon population and carrying capacity on release site.

à Ensure the individuals that are translocated have the most genetically and ecologically analogous and in a very health condition between source and targeted population.

à Develop a reliable monitoring and security system.

Further research / monitoring

There are numbers of research and monitoring should be carried out in the future to investigate several issues that contribute to the management of the extant population of Komodo dragon :

- Develop population models for Komodo dragon

- Investigate age-specific survivorship

- Investigate breeding participation rates of adult females

- Annual estimation on population demography

- Levels of Komodo dragon migration between islands

- Investigate annual trend on recruitment (number of clutches)

- Annual trend on nesting activity

- Annual trend on prey (ungulates, small reptiles, avian)

- Investigate competition between Komodo and other species, i.e wild boar.