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Thursday, 4 April 2019

Komodo Island set to close

Congratulations to tourism officials in Indonesia, who are temporarily closing Komodo Island. 

While it might be bad news for anyone wanting to get up close and personal with Komodo dragons, it is good news for those who care about the environment. 

Komodo Island will be closed to tourists for a year from January 2120 to allow the habitat to replenish and ensure the island has sufficient food stocks for the flesh-eating lizards, said Marius Jelamu, a spokesman for East Nusa Tenggara's provincial government.

Park management want to return the island to its usual wild condition and keep it as natural as possible whilst providing the necessary infrastructure for visitors, Travel Mole reports.  

The Komodo dragon is one of the world's most famous mammals but is only found on a handful of tiny islands in the Komodo National Park.

Other islands including Rinca and Padar will remain open, local news outlet Tempo reports.

Komodo Island receives most of the tour groups. 

Local authorities have been considering closing the island for the past couple of years due to the unchecked increase in visitors, which has started to impact the local habitat. Smugglers who allegedly stole 41 Komodo dragons were recently arrested. 

There are about 5,700 dragons living in the wild, UNESCO says, all of them within the National Park.

The region welcomes about 150,000 visitors every year.

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