Komodo National Park; The Land of The Dragon
Lying about some 500 kilometers to the east of Bali, Komodo National Park (KNP) nestles between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores, all of which are part of Indonesia’s Lesser Sunda Islands (Nusa Tenggara on current maps). The area on Komodo National Park has received a status as protected areas since 1915 when Sultan of Bima, a sultanate on neighboring island Sumbawa, conferred the area as nature reserve. In 1928 the colonial government Dutch East Indies formalized the nature reserve status. In 1928 the Dutch colonial government of the then Dutch East Indies formalized the nature reserve status originally conferred on Komodo in 1915 by the Raja of Bima in neighboring Sumbawa.
Indonesian Government declared the area as national park in 1980, and in 1992 Komodo National Park was declared a World Heritage Site. The park encompasses 1.817 square kilometers of land and marine wildlife, including main island such as Komodo, Rinca, Padar and Gili Motang plus numerous smaller islands. The most famous of the unique species on Komodo National Park is theKomodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis), the world’s largest lizard. Komodo Dragon is called Ora in local language. It is the world’s largest lizard. The largest komodo weight reached up to 165.9 kg (365 pounds) with measuring up to 3 meters long. There are less than 2500 Komodo dragons exist on Komodo National Park.
The area on Komodo National Park is also home for Timor deer, long-tailed macaque, wild board, water buffalo, feral horse, and number of bird species including Yellow Crested Cockatoo which can be found only on Komodo Islands. Under water, this area has diversity on its marine life. There are more than 1,000 species of fish, 385 species of reef-building corals, 70 species sponges, 10 dolphin species, 6 whale species, green and hawks-billed turtle, dugong, and various species of sharks and rays, including manta ray.
Although this is very danger area to live but there are people inhabit its main islands, it is on Rinca and Komodo Islands. People live on this island earn their living from traditional fishing. There are a number of record people from both islands were attacked by komodo including rangers who work on the national park. This makes this area very interesting to be explored. Besides enjoying the biodiversity on flora and fauna, witnessing how people can live close by the top level carnivore on the food chain is very special experience.