The Barcelona Zoo Foundation is organising an international symposium about the Komodo dragon
World experts from the scientific and zoologic community will debate about the conservation of this reptile on 5 March in Barcelona
Barcelona Zoo is involved in the conservation programme (EEP) of this species, organised by the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA)
The Barcelona Zoo Foundation is organising and sponsoring a day of debate about conserving the Komodo dragon, in which experts from the scientific and zoologic community will pool their good practice experiences and management systems for the conservation of this reptile, considered to be the largest lizard in the world. The speakers will be presenting the latest developments, updated knowledge and future of the conservation of the Komodo dragon, in addition to discussing the well-being and significant pathology of this animal, which acts as a kind of umbrella species in conserving its habitat and the rest of the species that share it.
The participants include Achmad Ariefiandy, co-founder and Project Manager of the Komodo Survival Program, Dr Tim Jessop, teacher at Deakin University, Dr Xavier Manteca, teacher of Animal and Food Science at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Williem Schtaftennar, veterinary consultant with more than 25 years’ experience at Rotterdam Zoo, and Dr Gerardo Garcia, inferior vertebrates and invertebrates keeper at Chester Zoo, expert in the conservation of reptiles and amphibians and ex-member of the team of professionals at Barcelona Zoo.
The workshop will take place at the Official College of Veterinaries of Barcelona (Av. República Argentina 21-25) and admission is free with prior registration.
The Komodo dragon, a threatened species
The current population of the Komodo dragons is estimated to be between 5,000 and 6,000 animals and, despite more than half of them living within the limits of the Komodo National Park, which includes most of the islands inhabited by the species, all the studies conducted in recent decades show that their numbers are progressively declining in their area of distribution.
The reasons for this fall in numbers have human origins: habitat destruction caused by the transformation of natural areas into croplands, population fragmentation caused by the creeping expansion of urban centres, a decrease in the availability of prey due to excess hunting, and even the illegal traffic of specimens as pets.
This is a threatened species, catalogued as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list. Furthermore, the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria (EAZA) have included the Komodo Dragon upon consolidating a European Endangered Species Programme (EEP), in which Barcelona takes part, with the aim of working jointly on the conservation of this species.