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Komodo dragons are endemic to the islands of Komodo, Rinca, Nusa Kode and Gili Motang (the islands are within the Komodo National Park area). Beyond Komodo National Park, this animal also can be found in the West coast and North coast of Flores. Komodo Dragon habitat can be founded from lowlands up to 800 m.a.s.l, in the tropical forest, deciduous monsoon forest, Savanna, and mangrove forest. The Komodo Dragon is more commonly found in lowlands surrounded by Savanna hills.

Komodo National Park

Komodo National Park is situated in the western part of Flores Island, East Nusa Tenggara and consisted of five main islands (Komodo, Rinca, Padar, Gili Motang and Nusa Kode islands) and numerous small islands. In total, Komodo National Park cover 1,817 km2 surface area (land and marine). Komodo National Park was established on 1980.

Flores Island

The island of Flores has an area of 13,540 km2 and a human population of about 1.8 million, with an average density of over 90 people per km2. Climate is dry, affected by monsoon and trade winds. Rainfall averages less than 1,000 mm a year and varies with altitude from 500 mm a year in coastal areas to more than 3,000 mm a year over the central mountain range. The western part of the island is slightly wetter than the eastern, and the north coast is drier than the south. Main habitat types are mangrove forest, savannah and grasslands, small patches of thorn forest, dry and moist deciduous monsoon forest, semi-evergreen forest and montane forest. On Flores, Komodo dragon populations are found on four nature reserves: Wae Wuul, Wolo Tadho, Riung and Tujuh Belas Pulau.

Wae Wuul

The Wae Wuul nature reserve is a hilly area of 1,484.44 ha with elevations up to 356 m located south of the town of Labuan Bajo. The reserve was established in 1985 by the Indonesian Ministry of Forestry with decree 176/Kpts-II/1985 and it is currently administered by the Ruteng branch of BBKSDA. Wae Wuul has a slightly more humid climate than Komodo National Park but it is a relatively dry area when compared to other regions of central Flores (Monk et al. 1997). In 2010, temperature ranged from 16.4 °C to 39.7 °C with 1500 mm of rain recorded from January to October. Main habitat types are grassland, savannah dominated by tamarind and palm trees and dry deciduous monsoon forest. A swamp is located to the northeast, while rice fields delimit the eastern boundary of the reserve. Wildlife of conservation interest includes the Komodo dragon and its main prey species the Timor deer Cervus timorensis and the water buffalo Bubalus bubalis. Endemic bird species such as the Flores monarch Monarcha sacerdotum, Flores crow Corvus florensis, Flores hanging parrot Loriculus flosculus and the bare-throated whistler Pachycepala nudigula are also present in the reserve (Trainor & Lesmana 2000). Several species of reptiles are found, including the water monitor Varanus salvator, the tree viper Trimeresurus albolabris, the Russell’s viper Vipera russelli, the spitting cobra Naja naja sputatrix and the reticulated python Python reticulatus.

Wae Wuul Nature Reserve

North Flores

The three contiguous conservation areas on the northern coast of Flores constitute the eastermost known stronghold of Komodo dragons in Indonesia. The Wolo Tadho, Riung and Tujuh belas pulau (17 islands) reserves harbour a genetically diverse lizard population in a region still void of mass tourism. Biodiversity is valued by local communities and forestry authority, yet actual protection measures and infrastructures are in their infancy and much in need of external support. The Komodo dragon conservation project is the very first conservation programme targeting extant Komodo dragon populations in this hotspot for biodiversity.

The Wolo Tadho nature reserve extends inland from the coastline up to an altitude of 600 m over approximately 4,000 ha. Main habitats include savannah, dry deciduous monsoon forest and patches of semi-evergreen forest. Two additional nature reserves share borders with Wolo Tadho: the Riung and the Tujuh belas pulau reserves. The Riung nature reserve includes both land and marine protected areas each covering approximately 50% of a total 2,000 ha region. Dry land is hilly with an altitude of no more than 150 m, mostly covered by savannah grassland dominated by palm and tamarind trees. Brackish and salt-water mangrove forests are also present along the coastline. The Tujuh belas pulau nature reserve comprises 9,900 ha of land and sea waters. Approximately 16 km of coastline delimit the southern and western boundaries of the reserve, which extends seaward up to 5 km from the northern shoreline of Flores. The reserve includes around 20 among islands, minor islets and coral formations. The main Island of Ontoloe is less than 100 m off the coast of Flores and has an area of approximately 300 hectares. Main habitats include savannah, grassland, dry deciduous monsoon forest and mangroves.

Ontoloe Island

Torong Padang Peninsula

Longos Island

Longos Island is located 500 m off the coast of northern Flores, between the bay of Terang and the village of Bari. It has an area of 478 hectares and harbours four hamlets with a total population of 1,000 inhabitants, mostly fishermen. Beside a small teak and lamtoro plantation, there is limited agriculture and relatively healthy dry deciduous Monsoon forest and Mangrove forest. Longos is not part of the Flores nature reserve network.

Longos Island