News headlines from 2019 are in. The East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) administration plans to close Komodo National Park to visitors for one year. This is to stop people from stealing its famous dragons. The government plans to curb the illegal poaching of the dragons. They also want to increase the local population of Komodo dragons and deer. Deer is the primary food source for the dragons.
The headlines got it wrong. Only the island of Komodo will close, not the National Park.
Komodo National Park is made up of 20-plus islands. Komodo Island is one of three major islands in the park. C losing Komodo Island only means the rest of the national park remains open. No dive sites are affected by this closure. No anchorages used during Komodo yacht charter vacations are affected.
“Most Komodo dragon sightseeing tours are conducted on the smaller Rinca Island, not on Komodo Island,” states 1-800 Yacht Charters President, Jana Sheeder.
“Our Komodo yacht charter captains and local guides prefer to anchor off the shoreline of Rinca island – it’s an excellent place to enjoy watersports, and take a tender ashore to see the dragons in their natural environment.”
Q: Should I cancel or postpone my luxury yacht vacation and avoid Komodo National Park?
A: NO. The park remains open. The local economy needs your support. The dragons await your visit!
Komodo National Park is located in the archipelago of Indonesia. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It features three major islands. For instance, Komodo, Rinca and Padar. It also includes dozens of tiny islands spanning over 1,800 kilometers across land and sea. The area is without peer. Its environmental significance and appeal as a yachting destination are unequalled.
“Komodo National Park, located in the center of the Indonesian archipelago, between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores, is composed of three major islands (Rinca, Komodo, and Padar) and numerous smaller ones, all of them of volcanic origin. Located at the juncture of two continental plates, this national park constitutes the “shatter belt” within the Wallacea Biogeographical Region, between the Australian and Sunda ecosystems. The property is identified as a global conservation priority area, comprising unparalleled terrestrial and marine ecosystems and covers a total area of 219,322 ha. The dry climate has triggered specific evolutionary adaptation within the terrestrial flora that range from open grass-woodland savanna to tropical deciduous (monsoon) forest and quasi cloud forest. The rugged hillsides and dry vegetation highly contrast with the sandy beaches and the blue coral-rich waters.”
Wildlife flourishes both on the islands and in the surrounding seas. Many of the yachts for hire in Komodo carry snorkeling gear. Some boats even offer scuba for certified divers. The reefs offer refuge for sea turtles and fish. They also attract whales, dolphins, and dugongs (manatees).
The most remarkable animal species in the Park is the Komodo lizard. Existing nowhere else on the planet, Varanus komodoensis is the largest living species of lizard. It grows to an average length of 2 to 3 meters. Their impressive appearance and aggressive nature lead to their common name, Komodo “Dragons.”
There are approximately 5700 dragons inhabiting the park. The majority make their home on Komodo island. An increase in poaching and smuggling of dragons from Komdo island forces the government to take drastic action. These dragons command upwards of $35,000 each on the black market. Authorities now step in to protect the dragons. These creatures are ‘vulnerable’ on the Red List of Threatened Species.
Tourists are barred from Komodo Island starting January 2020. Authorities use this time to thwart the poachers. They also do it to relieve pressure on the local environment. The goal is to allow the local dragon population to increase. This time is also to increase the island’s deer population. These deer are the primary food source for the dragons. Officials will conduct studies to determine the exact effects of tourism on the island and the park. Tourist activities such as Komodo watching, diving and snorkeling will be closely monitored throughout the park.
According to data from the Indonesian Environment and Forestry Ministry, over 10,000 people visit Komodo National Park monthly, with 95 percent of them being foreigners, while only 130 people monitor the park.
1. Komodos are Excellent Swimmers – they often swim from island to island in search of food.
2. Komodos Can Consume 80 Percent of Their Body Weight in One Sitting.
3. Komodos Demonstrate Play Behavior. At the National Zoo in Washington, D.C dragons, “…clearly demonstrated play-like behavior with objects and even with humans (tug-of-war)…” No thanks, we’ll just observe them from afar!!!
There are 2 common itineraries for a full Superyacht Experience in Indonesia. For instance, East Nusa Tenggara Expedition (Bali – Komodo – Flores – Sumba) and Maluku Expedition (Maumere – Alor – Banda Sea – Ambon).
This entry was posted in Yacht Charter Destinations News Frequently Asked Questions Educational and tagged Jana Sheeder, president of 1-800 Yacht Charters, scuba dive, Komodo dragons, Komodo Island, Komo National Park, Rinca Island, dive boats, dive excursions, NTT, The East Nusa TenggaraPosted on