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The Care and Feeding of Dragons

NTT Provincial Government Wants to Close Komodo National Park for One Year

Tempo.co is reporting that the East Nusa Tenggara Provincial Government (NTT) is planning to close to tourist for a one year period the Komodo National Park.

The NTT government defends its planned closure of the Park as needed to increase the population of the world’s largest monitor lizards, after which the park is named, and the wild deer on which the reptiles feed.

Meanwhile, naturalist and wild habitat specialists are said to be confused, questioning how closing the Park to tourists will supplement the population of either Komodos or wild deer. Meanwhile, long-time observers blame the declining deer population at the Park on illegal poaching, a problem that might only be exacerbated by closing the park to tourist visitors, allowing poachers to kill wildlife unchecked by outside observation.  

The Governor of NTT, Viktor Bungtilu Laiskodat, told the press on Friday, January 18, 2019: “The Government of NTT will survey and organize the Komodo National Park in order to make it better and so the Komodo dragons will develop. We will close the Komodo National Park for one year.”

The Governor, however, has not explained when he plans to close the Park.

Viktor said the closing of the Komodo National Park will facilitate the local government in organizing the Park. The Governor said the habitat of the Park located in West Manggarai Regency is in decline and the bodies of the of the reptiles are growing smaller due to the decrease in deer population – a main source of food for the Komodo Dragons.

Viktor is concerned that a decline in deer population could cause the dragons to eventually turn to cannibalism in order to sustain themselves.

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