The Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) is a predatory reptile belonging to the family Varanidae (comprising the monitor lizards) in the order Squamata. This creature is indigenous to a small number of Indonesian islands, including Komodo, Rinca, and Flores, and is the last living member of a relic population of large lizards that formerly ranged throughout Indonesia and Australia. The animal is notable as the largest living lizard in the world. Komodo dragons have been known to attain a maximum length of 3 m (10 ft). Individuals have been found to weigh up to 136 kg (300 lb), although a more typical weight is 70–80 kg (154–176 lb). Although the Komodo dragon has no natural predators, it is currently listed as a vulnerable species, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. Approximately 5000–6000 individuals are located in the wild; most are found within the confines of the Komodo National Park in Indonesia. The main threats to the species' survival include habitat destruction (especially from the detrimental effects of logging), human interference (through the toll from poaching on the lizards' main prey, deer), declines in the number of breeding females, and limitations resulting from its restricted range. See also: Endangered species; Evolution and interrelationships of lizards and snakes; Island biogeography; Reptilia; Squamata; Toxic bite of Komodo dragons
- Threat to Komodo dragons
- Environmental Science
- Threat to Komodo dragons
Threat to Komodo dragons
Briefing by: AccessScience Editors
Links to Primary Literature
- A. Ariefiandy et al., Evaluation of three field monitoring-density estimation protocols and their relevance to Komodo dragon conservation, Biodivers. Conserv., 23(10):2473–2490, 2014 DOI: https://doi.org/ 10.1007/s10531-014-0733-3
- G. Forth, Folk knowledge and distribution of the Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) on Flores island, J. Ethnobiol., 30(2):289–307, 2010 DOI: https://doi.org/ 10.2993/0278-0771-30.2.289
- D. Purwandana et al., Demographic status of Komodo dragons populations in Komodo National Park, Biol. Conserv., 171:29–35, 2014 DOI: https://doi.org/ 10.1016/j.biocon.2014.01.017
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