| 8.9°C Dublin

Conservationists confirm 12 Komodo dragons living near villages

Close

(FILES) In this file photo taken on December 3, 2010, Komodo dragons are seen on Rinca island, part of the protected area of Komodo National Park in Indonesia's Nusa Tenggara Timur province.  A Komodo dragon mauled a tour guide in an Indonesian national park on February 19, 2013, just two weeks after a previous attack there by one of the giant lizards.      AFP PHOTO / FILES / ROMEO GACAD        (Photo credit should read ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images)

(FILES) In this file photo taken on December 3, 2010, Komodo dragons are seen on Rinca island, part of the protected area of Komodo National Park in Indonesia's Nusa Tenggara Timur province. A Komodo dragon mauled a tour guide in an Indonesian national park on February 19, 2013, just two weeks after a previous attack there by one of the giant lizards. AFP PHOTO / FILES / ROMEO GACAD (Photo credit should read ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP/Getty Images

An Indonesian ranger was attacked by a komodo dragon (AP)

An Indonesian ranger was attacked by a komodo dragon (AP)

/

(FILES) In this file photo taken on December 3, 2010, Komodo dragons are seen on Rinca island, part of the protected area of Komodo National Park in Indonesia's Nusa Tenggara Timur province. A Komodo dragon mauled a tour guide in an Indonesian national park on February 19, 2013, just two weeks after a previous attack there by one of the giant lizards. AFP PHOTO / FILES / ROMEO GACAD (Photo credit should read ROMEO GACAD/AFP/Getty Images)

Dragons are creatures of legend but in a landscape as spectacular and biologically diverse as Indonesia, myths become reality.

Several Komodo dragons (Varanus Komodoensis) have been recently discovered, living in Mbeliling Forest on Flores Island.

Previously, it was believed that this ancient, endangered species could only be found in Komodo National Park in East Nusa Tenggara.

A team of conservationists confirmed the presence of the Komodo dragon, the world’s largest lizard, in the extreme west of Flores, after camera traps recorded a community of 12 surviving near the coastal villages of Golo Mori and Tanjung Kerita Mese.

Named after the island on which it was discovered, the Komodo dragon has inhabited the natural landscapes of Indonesia for millions of years. However, its existence was unknown to humans until around 100 years ago.

These prehistoric lizards can grow up to 10 feet long and are typically found wandering freely around Komodo National Park, which covers the islands of Komodo, Rinca and Padar.

Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986, this is the only place on earth where visitors have the unique opportunity to see them up close in their native habitat.

Indonesia’s captivating archipelago is comprised of more than 17,000 tropical islands, and other native wildlife include great apes, rhinos, tigers and some of the rarest species of birds on the planet.

Online Editors