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Komodos (1 Viewer)

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
I caught the last ten minutes of a BBC news special feature today about Komodo and it's Dragons.

Two bits stuck out to me, the proposal to charge up to $1K to visit the islands and the idea of genetically modifying the Dragons to make them bigger!

There was also a suggestion of rounding up all the Dragons from nearby Islands to keep them all on Komodo, why I didn't catch.

When I went about twenty years ago, the permit to land on Komodo was about $10 and I chartered a boat for two days, alone, just me, the skipper and his mate, for less than $100.

Edit: I've now managed to see the whole programme and was shocked at how tourism has exploded in the region. I was there in 2001 I think when a visit to Komodo was still seen as a bit of an adventure. In 2010, c50K people visited the Islands, last year, over 300K and the development in Labuan Bajo on the Island of Flores from where you set off for Komodo, is shocking to see.

The local governor has big plans to close the National Park for a year for wildlife to recover and evict the islanders from Komodo. He plans to charge big money to visit the Islands and limit the number of visitors.

I have mixed feelings on this, it will obviously be better for the environment to limit the number of visitors but I don't believe in making experiences such as this, out of bounds for all but the wealthy. There's also the jobs that come with tourism and many of the people here are dirt poor but it's sad for me to see the concrete jetty that's been built on Komodo since I was there, for the huge cruise ships that now visit.
 
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DMW

Well-known member
It's difficult not to suspect that there is underlying corruption on a grand scale afoot here. Of all the conservation crises in Indonesia, I don't think an increase in tourism on Komodo is likely to be one. Charging $1000, or anything close to that, to go and look at a couple of lethargic overgrown lizards is pure fantasy.
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
It's difficult not to suspect that there is underlying corruption on a grand scale afoot here. Of all the conservation crises in Indonesia, I don't think an increase in tourism on Komodo is likely to be one. Charging $1000, or anything close to that, to go and look at a couple of lethargic overgrown lizards is pure fantasy.

My exact thoughts.

The images here shocked me, we had to go trekking with a guide to look for them. It seems like they have a few coralled and ready to go for when the boats arrive.

I actually saw more Dragons on the nearby Island of Rinca (pronounced Rincha), only saw one on Komodo, saw six on Rinca.
 
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jurek

Well-known member
I hope Komodo will not follow such notorious tourist traps like mountain gorillas or Galapagos.

Luckily, seeing Komodo Dragons in the wild will not become a luxury inaccessible for an average person, because they live also on parts of Flores and other neighboring islands.

BBC seems to be kidding. 482 people per day is insignificant for a 600km2 island. Even in Indonesia there are parks who receive 1000 times more visitors with manageable environmental impact*.

Tourism impact can be easily managed by building good low-profile visitor facilities, which are currently rudimentary. More access points to the 603km2 island are preferable - currently there is only one.

As others pointed, tourism has nothing to do with the problem of illegal settlers, which government apparently cannot solve. And, as other pointed, luxury tourism is socially unjust. All the money will flow to the few people controlling luxury development, but an average local will stay dirt poor.

Situations like this make me question supporting WWF, Greenpeace, Birdlife and other conservation organizations. Help Virunga, Komodo, Madagascar or Galapagos? Then you as a tourist will be collossally overcharged, few rich officials will get richer, and nature itself will still be in grave danger from all local people who were left dirt poor.

*BBC itself states that 176,000 people visited in 2018. Most of visitors stay few hours only. There is simply little to see on land except the big lazy lizard.

And even the most nutty conservation ideologist should think twice what is the real conservation problem - a tourist boat or lack of water treatment plant to filter toilets used by those tourists?
 
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rollingthunder

Well-known member
They’re not all on Komodo - i’ve got one here in the West Midlands and she doesn’t need genetically-modifying to make any bigger:eek!:;)

Laurie:t:
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
They’re not all on Komodo - i’ve got one here in the West Midlands and she doesn’t need genetically-modifying to make any bigger:eek!:;)

Laurie:t:

At the risk of a bad pun, would you like to expand on that.

I'd hate to think it was your good Lady you were referring to but the options are even more disconcerting!
 

Andy Adcock

Well-known member
England
I hope Komodo will not follow such notorious tourist traps like mountain gorillas or Galapagos.

Luckily, seeing Komodo Dragons in the wild will not become a luxury inaccessible for an average person, because they live also on parts of Flores and other neighboring islands.

Though they are known from other Islands, I don't know anyone who has seen one awy from Komodo / Rinca.
 

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