|Biosphere Reserve Information|
© Photo: Donald Bason/TNC
Situated between Flores and Sumbawa in Indonesia, Komodo Biosphere Reserve and National Park is well known for its population of about 5,000 giant lizards, also called ‘Komodo dragons’ (Varanus komodoensis). They exist nowhere else in the world and are of great interest to scientists studying the theory of evolution. This lizard was also the reason for the designation of the area as a World Heritage site. The predominant vegetation type is open grass-woodland savannah, mainly of anthropogenic origin, with patches of tropical rain forests, monsoon forests and mangroves. Apart from Komodo Island, the biosphere reserve also covers Rinca and Padar Island as well as numerous islets. It includes one of the world’s richest marine environments with coral reefs.
Some 2,800 people live in the area (1998). Fish and squid are their major sources of livelihood, however local people also pick Asam (Tamarindus indica) and Srikaya (Annona squamosa) fruits. Tourism in the area is increasing rapidly (30,800 tourists in 1997) and also creates income opportunities. The conservation of the ‘Komodo dragon’ and associated tourism have been the major concern of the biosphere reserve. However, increased population pressure, fires, poaching, unsustainable fishing methods, tourism, over-fishing and coral reef destruction constitute new challenges for the biosphere reserve. Research in the biosphere reserve includes studies and monitoring of the ‘Komodo dragon’, monitoring and restoration of coral reefs and mangrove ecosystems as well as ecotourism. Local communities were associated with the nomination of the biosphere reserve and they are involved in decision-making processes.
|Major ecosystem type||Temperate grasslands including coastal/marine component (coral reefs)|
|Major habitats & land cover types||Savanna; coral reef; mangrove forest; lowland forest|
|Location||08°24' to 08°50'S; 129°21' to 129°49'E|
|Transition area(s) when given|
|Altitude (metres above sea level)||0 to +735|
|Administrative authorities||Komodo National Park|
|Last updated: 18/09/2007|