Photo of Komodo Island Beach

Beach of Komodo Island

This is photo of Komodo Island beach, a beautiful beach in Komodo Island is The New 7 Wonders of The World.

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Conservation Management of Komodo National Park

Komodo National Park (KNP) was set up as a Technical Implementation Unit of PHKA. Its purposes are to protect the Komodo dragon and its habitat, the terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystems and their species, the exploited reef fish and invertebrates and surrounding fishing grounds; it exists also to promote sustainable use of the natural resources for tourism, fisheries, education, and research. Key regulations for the management of KNP are the Act on Conservation of Biological Resources and their Ecosystems, the Fisheries Law, the Government Regulation concerning Natural Resources Tourism in the Use Zone of National Parks, Community Forest Parks and Natural Resources Parks, Government Regulation on Conservation Areas, and the Government of District Manggarai Regulation on Fishing Gear, plus the Ministry of Forestry Decree on Zoning.

A 25-year management plan was inaugurated in 2000, to be implemented in five-year segments. The Park is split into seven zones: Core, wilderness, tourism, traditional use, pelagic use, research and training, traditional settlement. The intensive use zones contain the development of the villages within enclaves and the tourist and administrative facilities; the wilderness zone provides for limited tourism such as trails and camps; and the core zone is strictly protected with access restricted to authorised PHKA and research personnel (FAO, 1977). The sanctuaries are on the southern half of Komodo and Rinca Islands and on Gili Montong Island. The Park headquarters are located at Labuan Bajo and there are six permanently staffed guard posts within the Park, though major decisions are taken in the Ministry of Forestry in Jakarta. Continue reading

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Conservation Value of Komodo Island

The Park is rich in terrestrial and marine biodiversity and is of great importance for the conservation of most of the world population of the Komodo monitor lizard. The location of the islands between two distinct zoogeographical zones, and the presence of a number of important cultural relicts, emphasises their scientific interest. The rich marine environment, particularly coral reefs, provides the basis for the local fishing industry and enhances the Park’s potential for tourism. The Park lies within a Conservation International-designated Conservation Hotspot, a WWF Global 200 Marine Eco-region, a WWF/IUCN Centre of Plant Diversity, one of the world’s Endemic Bird Areas and is an ASEAN Heritage Park.

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Scientific Research And Facilities of Komodo Island

Komodo is a natural laboratory for studying evolutionary history and is an ICRAN demonstration site (International Coral Reef Action Network). Auffenberg (1981) who carried out ecological research on the Komodo monitor cited numerous earlier studies. In addition, Robinson & Supriadi in 1981 and the San Diego Zoo team in 2000 also studied the Flores monitor population and in 1979 Kvalvagnaes and Halim conducted marine surveys (Robinson & Bari, 1982). The lizard population is regularly monitored at 78 plots. A field laboratory was completed in 1984 (J.Thorsell, pers.comm.,1991) but lacks equipment and technicians. The mangrove and coral reef ecosystems have also been monitored and restored. The potential of ecotourism has been studied. Monitoring of terrestrial wildlife has been done by the University of Udayana, San Diego Zoo, the University of California at Berkeley, Bogor Agricultural University and Gadjah Mada University. Every two years The Nature Conservancy monitors 185 sites for corals, fish and grouper and wrasse spawning aggregation sites; it also regularly conducts socio-economic studies (Tun et al., 2004).

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Visitors And Visitor Facilities of Komodo Island

Annual visitor numbers increased rapidly during the 1980s, rising from 100 in 1980 to 29,840 in 1997 (KNP,2003; UNESCO, 1997; MOF, 1990). Of these, some 90% were foreign nationals who visit during the dry season between June and September (J.Thorsell, pers.comm.,1991), mainly attracted to dragons at the viewing stations at the Loho Liang visitor centre where they are baited twice a week. There are trails and shelters, accommodation at Loho Liang and equipment for diving and snorkelling the reef. Access to the Park is by boat from Labuan Bajo on the north-western tip of Flores Island or from Sape on the east coast of Sumbawa Island. There is an information centre with a research library at the Park headquarters in Labuan Bajo. Limited losman (guest house) accommodation is available at Labuan Bajo and at Sape on Sumbawa. The nearest hotel accommodation and airport facilities are located at Bima on Sumbawa.

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Local Human Population of Komodo Island

In 1980, a population of approximately 600-700 people lived on the islands of Komodo and Rinca, half within the Park, in the villages of Kampung Komodo, Kampung Rinca, and Kerora (J.Thorsell, pers. comm.1991). By 2004, the population in the Park had grown to 3,267, with 16,816 people living in fishing villages surrounding it, a sixfold increase, mainly from other islands (PHKA, 2004). Most are muslim. Several small seasonal fishing settlements lie on the east side of Rinca Island. Low rainfall has precluded much farming and the villagers subsisted almost entirely on fishing and the collection of marine resources such as molluscs and algae for agar production (Kvalvagnaes & Halim, 1979; MOF,1990). The restrictions imposed on resource gathering by local people since 1980 have not been balanced by any alternative means of subsistence. The greatly increased tourism is now an important supplementary source of income, but the profits accrue mainly to outside interests (Borchers, 2002).

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Cultural Heritage of Komodo Island

The evidence of early settlement is supported by the recent discovery of Neolithic graves, artefacts and megaliths on Komodo Island. The islands have long been settled due to their strategic importance and the existence of sheltered anchorages and supplies of fresh water on Komodo and Rinca. But the age of the present villages suggests that the inhabitants of Komodo village may have settled during the past 150 years, having been banished from Sumbawa by the Sultan of Bima (MOF, 1990). Other islanders followed and the original Ata Modo people, language and culture no longer exist without admixture from outside influences (PHKA,2004).

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