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Komodo Island Ecosystem
Transcript of Komodo Island Ecosystem
komodo island Geography
location, Political Boundaries, and Biome
Komodo National Park is an Indonesian national park and it consists of three large islands, Komodo, Padar, and Rinca, 26 smaller islands, and the surrounding waters of the Sape Straights. It's located at the heart of the Indonesian archipelago between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores and covers an area of 1,733 km². Its coordinates are 8.5433° S, 119.4894° E.
Komodo National Park is classified as a tropical savanna.
All of Komodo National Park is managed and protected by the central government of Indonesia. It is identified by WWF as a global conservation priority area and labelled as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Komodo Park was established in 1980 in order to protect the Komodo dragon, but since then conservation goals have expanded in order to protect its entire marine and terrestrial biodiversity.
Landscape & Seascape features
Komodo National Park is a landscape of contrasts between starkly rugged hillsides of dry savanna, patches of thorny green vegetation, brilliant white sandy beaches, and blue waters. The irregular coastlines are characterized by bays, beaches and inlets separated by headlands, often with sheer cliffs falling vertically into the surrounding seas.
Coral reefs thrive along the coasts of Komodo due to the clear, nutrient rich water and serve as a home to an abundant biodiversity of marine life.
The hot climate of Komodo is one of the driest in Indonesia with an annual rainfall of 80 - 100cm. The climate is strongly effected by trade winds and monsoons. From May to October, dry southeast winds from Australia carry little moisture to the area. From November to April, the northwest monsoon comes from Asia, and heaviest rainfall, higher humidity, and lower temperatures are recorded during this time.
Temperatures range from 17-43 degrees Celcius (62-104 degrees Fahrenheit).
Species Spotlight: Komodo dragon
The Komodo dragon prefers hot and dry places, and typically lives in dry, open grassland, savanna, and tropical forest at low elevations. Komodo dragons can be found on the islands of Komodo, Rinca, Gili Motang, Gili Dasami, and Flores.
Komodo dragons have a mutualistic relationship with the 50-80 strains of bacteria, most of which are pathogenic, in their mouths. The Komodo dragon's mouth and teeth provide a suitable surface for the bacteria to grow on. In turn, the bacteria infect any animal the Komodo dragon bites into.
Threats & Limiting factors
The Komodo dragon is vulnerable species and they are on the IUCN Red List. There are around 5,700 dragons in the park. Notable threats to Komodo dragons include volcanic activity, earthquakes, fire, poaching, and loss of prey.
Komodo dragon populations are limited by the number of available prey, temperature, and terrain. Their populations have dropped from poaching of their prey. Komodo dragons cannot maintain their own body temperature, and prefer hot places. Their large size and claws make them unsuitable for climbing trees or scaling rocks, so they typically live at low elevations.
Because of their gigantic size and carnivourous diet, Komodo dragons dominate their ecosystem and are third order consumers. Komodo dragons will consume almost anything, including carrion, deer, pigs, water buffalo, and even humans and smaller dragons.
They hunt by stalking and ambushing their prey. Even if the animal escapes, it will usually die of blood poisoning from the bacteria in the Komodo dragon's saliva. The Komodo dragon will then follow its prey as the bacteria takes effect and eat its corpse.
The total population currently living in the park is 3,267 people, while 16,816 people live in the area immediately surrounding the Park. Inhabitants living within the park are spread out over four settlements (Komodo, Rinca, Kerora, and Papagaran). In 1928 there were only 30 people living on Komodo. The population increased rapidly, and by 1999, there were 1,169 people on Komodo, meaning that the local population has increased exponentially.
Today, the major issues of Komodo park are tourism, poaching, and illegal/over fishing. Komodo Park has become increasingly popular, and if tourism continues to increase and more migrants come to the area, it could result in habitat loss and degradation.
In order to address problems such as illegal fishing, regular patrolling of the marine and terrestrial areas is carried out by law enforcement and the impact of these activities has decreased.
Conservationists are most concerned about the state of the Komodo dragon, since, due to poaching, their prey stocks have decreased. Their focus on this issue has resulted in some success, but they have yet to really do the same for other endemic species.
Fresh, clean water is a renewable resource and it is the resource most needed by the inhabitants of Komodo Park. Many people have migrated to Komodo island and other larger islands in search of easy access to fresh water. Fish and land are overexploited resources. Destructive fishing methods and illegal fishing are worrying issues that have caused a decrease in species populations.
Community awareness and empowerment programs are being implemented to engage the local villagers in regards to the sustainable use of natural resources and park conservation.
Habitat loss, habitat degradation, and poaching are the greatest threats to the endemic species of Komodo Park. Some threatened species are:
Komodo dragon (vulnerable)
Komodo rat (vulnerable)
Timor Rusa Deer (vulnerable)
Flores hawk-eagle (critically endangered)
Yellow-crested cockatoo (critically endangered)
Whale shark (vulnerable)
Can be found in sheltered bays and along the coasts of most of the islands.
Serve as a habitat for many birds, crabs, reptiles and fish.
Quasi Cloud Forests:
Found above 500 m on pinnacles and ridges.
Cover only small areas, but provides a habitat for many endemic birds.
Mixed Tropical Deciduous Forests:
Occur along the bases of hills and on valley bottoms.
Open Grassland-Woodland Savanna:
Covers about 70% of the park.
Lontar palm is the most common vegetation
Sea Grass Beds:
Found along the north end of Rinca island.
Made of terrestial grass-like flowering plants that form extensive meadows along the sand bottom in shallow water.
Harbor algae, fish, and other marine life.
Sheltered bays can be found along the coasts of the islands of Komodo Park, and surface fresh water combined with deep upwellings of nutrient rich saltwater make the seas around the island to be among the most productive in the world. Fringing and patch coral reefs are extensive and best developed along the north-east coast. The marine life of Komodo park is much more diverse than the terrestrial fauna.
There are around 1,000 species of fish, 10 species of dolphin, and 5 species of sea turtle to be found in the coral reefs of Komodo Park.
The islands of Komodo park are of volcanic origin, and the dry climate has triggered evolutionary adaptation in the flora and fauna around the park. Some succession drivers include volcanic activity, earthquakes, fire, destructive fishing methods, and climate change. Due to events such as these, the surviving species of Komodo Park have adapted to survive the rough terrain and dry climate.
Key Abiotic Factors
Key abiotic factors that influence the ecosystem of Komodo Park include:
"Komodo National Park, Indonesia." Komodo National Park, Indonesia. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Sept. 2014. <http://www.eoearth.org/view/article/154044/>.
"Komodo National Park." - UNESCO World Heritage Centre. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Sept. 2014. <http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/609>.
"Komodo National Park, Indonesia." WWF. N.p., n.d. Web. 8 Sept. 2014. <http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/where_we_work/coraltriangle/coraltrianglefacts/places/komodonationalparkindonesia/>.
"Komodo National Park, Indonesia." About. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Sept. 2014. <http://goseasia.about.com/od/indonesiastopattractions/a/komodopark.htm>.
"Fishermen Blast Premier Dive Sites off Indonesia." Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 6 Sept. 2014. <http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2012/04/20/fishermen-blast-premier-dive-sites-indonesia.html>.
"Poachers Shot Dead in Komodo Park." Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 Sept. 2014. <http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2014/03/01/poachers-shot-dead-komodo-park.html>.
Timor Rusa Deer
Javan Spitting Cobra,
Timor Python, Wild Boar,
Flores Hawk Eagle, White-Bellied Sea Eagle
Timor Rusa Deer, Water Buffalo, Asian Palm Civet,
Orange-Footed Scrubfowl, Helmeted Friarbird
Grass, Bamboo, Lontar Palm, Tamarind, Mangrove
energy is returned to atmosphere