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 KOMODO DRAGON

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PostSubject: KOMODO DRAGON   Tue Aug 05, 2008 1:02 am

KOMODO DRAGON


Species Description and Range
The komodo dragon occurs only on Komodo and its few smaller outlying islands north of Australia. It probably never was more widely distributed, although maps of ancient mariners had notations of "here be dragons" dotted throughout the islands of what is now Malaysia and Indonesia. It was not until the early 1900s that scientists confirmed the existence of these incredible giant lizards.

Natural History
Komodo dragons are carnivores (meat eaters) and will devour any animal they are capable of dismembering and gulping down. Although they are for the most part scavengers, they do capture live prey, including deer, pigs, birds, even young dragons. The young can escape by climbing trees, because the much-heavier adults cannot climb. Komodo dragons are good swimmers and have been reported hunting in the surf for fish and birds.
Komodo dragons are formidable predators, since even one bite can be lethal. The bacteria that live in the dragon's saliva are so virulent that wounds often will not heal. Even if the victim gets away, it usually dies from infection in a few days. The dragon's reputation as a human eater is well deserved; it does not seem to fear humans and many attacks and deaths have been reported.

Causes of Endangerment
Hunting and Habitat Loss
The current population of Komodo dragons seems relatively stable at about 5,000 animals, yet scientists are concerned that only 350 of them are breeding females. This may be a normal sex ratio; little is known about the species. The dragon's limited distribution makes them highly susceptible to natural or human-caused events, such as storms, fire, or disease.
The primary threats to the dragon's survival include illegal hunting and loss of habitat to human settlement. As was the case with most large, spectacular animals the world over, Komodo dragons were sought as trophies by big-game hunters. They also are killed for skins and feet to make novelties. Early in this century, many Komodo dragons were trapped for sale to zoos and private collectors.

Conservation Actions
Regulation of Trade and Habitat Protection
Trade in Komodo dragons is prohibited under CITES. Protection from poaching is made easier by the dragon's limited distribution; there is little human habitation on the islands where it occurs, and Komodo Island, the dragon's stronghold, has been made a national park.

Tourism
Komodo dragons now are the center of a burgeoning tourist industry and the local people increasingly are recognizing the advantage of living near this potentially dangerous animal. Because of Komodo Island's remoteness, visitors to the island must stay in local hotels and hire local guides. In some areas, the komodo dragons are so well fed that they simply lie around waiting for the next group of tourists to bring the next meal of goat or sheep.
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PostSubject: COOL   Sat Aug 09, 2008 10:00 pm

WOW I LIKE WHAT YOU PUT Shocked
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PostSubject: Re: KOMODO DRAGON   Sat Aug 09, 2008 10:41 pm

I have read of people disappearing while photographing these creatures. The only remains was the camera.
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PostSubject: Re: KOMODO DRAGON   Sat Aug 09, 2008 10:48 pm

scratch mmm where did they go

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PostSubject: Re: KOMODO DRAGON   Sat Aug 09, 2008 10:55 pm

They were processed only to return to fertilize the land. jocolor
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PostSubject: Re: KOMODO DRAGON   Sat Aug 09, 2008 11:23 pm

some good come out of it then Very Happy

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