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Population Monitoring

Since 2002, the Komodo Survival Program teamed alongside Komodo National Park and international biologists has conducted field studi in Komodo National Park. The major aim of this conservation research is to determine the population status and abundance of komodo dragons living inside the Park. To estimate these population measures, an intensive monitoring program using cage traps is conducted annually at 10 sites on four islands. Each dragon captured is microchipped to provide an individual tag that can be used to identify lizards over time. By recapturing tagged individuals over time allows scientists to estimate komodo dragon abundance, rates of survival, and even how often lizards move among islands.

In 2012 we collaborate with Komodo National Park and the authority of Wae Wuul Nature Reserve, began using camera traps as a method for monitoring komodo dragon populations. Cameras are placed at several hundred locations throughout these reserves to capture photos of dragons at each location. The photos taken from camera trap allow researchers to estimate the index population of dragons at each location. This method of population monitoring is easier and less expensive than physically capturing.