Komodo Population in Labuan Bajo Rises in Past 5 Years, Govt Claims
TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The population of Komodo dragons in the Komodo National Park, Labuan Bajo tends to increase, said Wiratno as the Director-General of the Natural Resource and Ecosystem Conservation from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK).
According to him, there were 3,022 dragons or scientifically named Varanus komodoensis in 2019 from previously 2,897 in 2018.
“The growth of the Komodo population in Loh Buaya Valley for the last 17 years has been relatively stable with a slight hike in the last five years,” said Wiratno in a written statement on Tuesday, October 27, 2020.
The protected animals are presently concentrated on two islands, namely Komodo Island and Rinca Island. Meanwhile, a small group of them spread on the surrounding islands. In detail, there were seven on Padar Island, 69 on Gili Motang, and 91 on Nusa Kode.
Wiratno claimed should one of the world’s largest lizards be protected seriously and consistently, tourism activities during this current condition will not endanger the animals.
The Loh Buaya Resort on Rinca Island was off-limit for tourists from October 26, 2020, until June 30, 2021, as the government decided to accelerate the infrastructure work in the natural tourism area. The closure would be evaluated every two weeks.
The project which was spearheaded by the Public Works and Housing Ministry was 30 percent complete.
The Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) urged the government to stop the project with a 'Jurassic Park' concept due to concerns over the integrity of the endemic animal ecosystem on Flores Island.
FRANCISCA CHRISTY ROSANA