Feeding dragons in Komodo National Park: a tourism tool with conservation complications

  • Published source details Walpole M.J. (2001) Feeding dragons in Komodo National Park: a tourism tool with conservation complications. Animal Conservation, 4, 67-73.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Provide supplementary food or water

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Provide supplementary food or water

    A controlled, before-and-after study in 1990–1996 on two tropical islands in Komodo National Park, Indonesia (Walpole 2001) found that providing supplementary food at one location for Komodo dragons Varanus komodoensis resulted in larger numbers at the feeding site, but no evidence of an increase in the total population size. Results were not statistically tested. During four years of supplementary feeding (1990–1993), average daily dragon numbers at the feeding site were 16–19 dragons/day. After feeding ceased, average numbers were 13 in 1994 and six in 1995, by which point they were similar to numbers recorded at baited survey locations across the islands (3–4 dragons/day) in 1993–1995. Goat carcasses were provided two times/week from 1990 to August 1994 at a tourist viewing platform. In addition, the population was censused over 24 hours annually in October by securing a dead goat to permanent plots at 47 locations on Komodo island and 29 locations on Rinca island.

    (Summarised by: Maggie Watson)

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