Komodo dragons have been listed as endangered species as of Saturday 4th September after being listed on the wildlife Red List.
About 28 percent of the 138,000 species assessed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) are now threatened with extinction in the wild forever. The loss of wildlife is being caused by the destructive impact of human activities on nature.
The change in the status of the Komodo dragon as an endangered animal is the first in the last 20 years. This red list of species is based on global warming monitoring, so it is believed that they will become extinct if there isn’t rapid conservation action.
The Komodo dragon is the largest living lizard and is only found in the World Heritage-listed Komodo National Park and Flores. The animal is located on the edge of the forest or savanna, rarely roaming above an altitude of 700 metres above sea level.
The IUCN said the Komodo dragons’ habitat on the islands of East Nusa Tenggara is estimated to have decreased by more than 40 percent between 1970 and 2000. Meanwhile, rising sea levels are expected to shrink their tiny habitat, an issue that will affect 30 percent of species over the next 45 years.
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Threats also come from humans. The Komodo dragon’s habitat is increasingly being displaced by human activities around the animal, making the Komodo dragon population more vulnerable.
“Because of human pressures, forests are slowly being cut down and disappearing and the savanna is experiencing fires and degradation. That’s why the animals are really threatened. Their habitats are also being made smaller due to rising sea levels,” said Gerardo Garcia, curator of vertebrates and invertebrates at Chester Zoo.
The IUCN Congress, which took place in the French city of Marseille, explained that the extinction of species and the destruction of ecosystems constituted an existential threat equivalent to global warming.
Climate change itself threatens the future of many species, especially endemic animals and plants that live on small islands or certain points of biodiversity. Of the 138,000 species included in the latest IUCN red list, more than 38,000 are threatened with extinction, just one of which is the Komodo dragon.