Komodo Dragons are the largest lizard in the world. On average they weigh 154 pounds, but they have been known to weigh over 300 pounds and reach 10 feet in length. They eat any kind of meat, including small rodents, carcasses, deer, and even water buffalo. So how is such a formidable predator facing extinction?
In the 1970s, widespread poaching of deer—Komodo Dragons’ main prey—drastically reduced their population. Now, rising sea levels and forest fires due to climate change are destroying the dragons’ habitat. A peer-reviewed article in the Journal of Ecology and Evolution provided evidence that climate change will continue to have this devastating impact and called for “urgent conservation actions.” Shortly after, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) re-classified Komodo Dragons as endangered.
Komodo Dragons live exclusively in Indonesia, primarily in two areas: Komodo National Park and Flores. Whereas the population in the National Park is relatively stable around 2,800, the dragons remain unprotected in Flores. If the Indonesian government fails to protect dragon populations in Flores, the species will be restricted to one small area and increasingly susceptible to extinction. Please sign this petition encouraging the Indonesian government to protect Komodo Dragons in Flores.
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