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MANAGEMENT OF FRAGILE
KOMODO NATIONAL PARK CASE STUDY
The Komodo National Park is a protected world heritage
site in the Lesser Sundra Islands of Indonesia. Komodo
forms part of the Coral Triangle in the Pacific Ocean
this is arguably one of the most diverse marine areas on
Coral areas such as these are rare, and are only found
between the tropics. This is because the need an annual
water temperature of 18oC and clear water of less than
The park, as shown in the map, consists of numerous
inactive volcanic islands stretching across an area of
Biodiversity in the area is high there are 37 reptile
species and 32 mammal species.
It is home to the Komodo dragon, a three metre long lizard
capable of killing humans, or large mammals such as goats.
As the name would suggest, the Komodo dragons are
endemic to Komodo and can only be found in the wild on
the island. Protection is needed to ensure that this large
reptile and other species endemic to the island do not
VEGETATION AND CORAL REEFS
Many of the islands are characteristic of tropical savannah and scrub vegetation. This has developed
due to past deforestation.
The marine ecosystems and coral reefs fringing the island are teeming with life. There are over 1000
fish species, 260 coral species, 70 sponge species, and 17 types of whales and dolphin.
POPULATION AND HUMAN ACTIVITY THREATS TO BIODIVERSITY
The National Park and its surrounding area had a population of 23,000 in 2007 as well as 17,000
visitors. This means the area is isolated but certainly not without human activity.
Poverty in the area is high, and people need to make a living somehow. However, as education is
poor so wider opportunity is minimal, especially given the isolation of the islands.
97% of incomes come from fishing that is unreliable. Reliance on fishing places pressure on fish
species and reefs, in order to make the maximum income possible.
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There is an extra need for locals to have extra money. This is because imported fresh water costs the
average family $US 10-15 per month, a huge cost in an area where rates of poverty are high.
The area had problems with highly destructive fishing practices, such as blast fishing, cyanide fishing
and trap setting. In the process of trap setting, coral is broken off to camouflage the fish traps. This
kills the coral so is unsustainable.…read more
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Zoning is designed to create untouched wildlife reserves whilst also allowing tourists to visit and
locals to earn a living through fishing. This balances conservation and exploitation a successful
As well as zones, policies are used to deter activities which can be seen as detrimental to
conservation. These can be known to cause local conflict.
An example of this is a policy which affected the long-standing customs of the islanders.…read more