Komodo Dragons Might Soon Become Extinct Due to Climate Change-induced Rise in Sea Level

Komodo dragons might be getting extinct due to climate change | Image credit: Reuters

Komodo dragons might be getting extinct due to climate change | Image credit: Reuters

The study by researchers of the University of Adelaide and Deakin University finds that due to global warming and the subsequent sea-level rise, Komodo dragons face a threat of extinction.

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  • Last Updated: September 26, 2020, 3:17 PM IST


Scientists have been warning us about the consequences of climate change for a long time. A lot of animals have already faced the brunt of deteriorating climate. According to a recent study, if drastic actions are not taken soon, the Komodo dragon will be the next victim of climate change.

The study was an international collaboration led by the University of Adelaide and Deakin University. According to their researchers, due to global warming and the subsequent sea-level rise, Komodo dragons face a threat of extinction. The fascinating reptiles are already limited to very few habitats. Most of them are coastal areas that are first to be affected by rising sea-level consequences. The researchers have proposed to include the findings of this study in conservation strategies to save this species from extinction.

“Climate change is likely to cause a sharp decline in the availability of habitat for Komodo dragons, severely reducing their abundance in a matter of decade,” said lead author Dr Alice Jones as quoted on Adelaide University’s website. She is from the School of Biological Sciences, University of Adelaide. Their research models have predicted that three islands in Indonesia will face a complete extinction. As of today, the Komodo dragons are found on five islands, around south-east Asia.

Scientifically called Varanus komodoensis, the lizard species is one of the world’s oldest surviving creatures. They have lived on Earth for millions of years, longer than most known species, but now about 4000 dragons remain in the wild. The five islands where they are found exist around Southeast Indonesia. Komodo, Rinca, Nusa Kode and Gili Motang island are part of Komodo National Park, and Flores, the fifth and largest island, has three nature reserves.

The study was published in the journal Ecology and Evolution and based on research and observation of many years. According to Dr Jones, the current conservation efforts are not optimum to ensure the species’ survival on the planet. Especially when the climate change effects are not integrated with conservation efforts, they cannot have substantial effect.

Climate change, human interference, and loss of habitat has put a lot of stress on most of Indonesia’s native species. At least 20 native species are counted as endangered.

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