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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