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A project of Wildlife Survival Fund: Investing in endangered species before it’s too late.



Geographic Location

Lesser Sunda islands, Indonesia

Focal Species

Komodo dragon

IUCN Red List Status of Focal Species


About the Project

The Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) is restricted to five islands in the Lesser Sundas region of eastern Indonesia. Four island populations are located within Komodo National Park, where the species is fairly well protected. Clearing of coastal tropical deciduous Monsoon forest, arson and poaching of prey species, such as Timor deer are instead the main threats influencing viability of fragmented populations found on the island of Flores, outside the boundaries of Komodo National Park. In northern Flores, Komodo dragons are found along a patch of coastal Monsoon forest and savanna which include the three contiguous nature reserves of Riung, Tujuh belas pulau and Wolo Tadho. Basic information on population density, range and status of main prey species is unknown and of paramount importance to devise wildlife monitoring and conservation plans. The aim of the Komodo dragon conservation program is to collect demographic information on extant Komodo dragon and their ungulate prey populations in northern Flores by means of camera trapping methodology and fecal pellet counts on transect plots. The project will be conducted in collaboration with the eastern Lesser Sunda central bureau for conservation of nature resources (BBKSDA). Training sessions designed specifically for BBKSDA rangers will help creating local expertise in wildlife monitoring methodology and therefore contribute to the long-term protection of extant Komodo dragon population on Flores.

Project Mission: To collect demographic information on Komodo dragons and its ungulate prey populations along northern Flores coastal Monsoon forest and savannah habitats to address conservation and management priorities.


Komodo Dragons at Woodland Park Zoo

The Dragons of Komodo exhibit, next to the Adaptations Building, features a full-grown, adult male Komodo dragon and two juvenile males. Here you can learn about their lives as island predators and the challenges their populations face.

To learn more:

Read the Komodo dragon fact sheet