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Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis) Fact Sheet: Distribution & Habitat

Komodo Dragon (Varanus komodoensis)


Komodo dragons

  • Endemic to south-east Indonesia
    • Islands of Komodo, Flores, Rinca, Gili Dasami and Gilli Motang in the middle of the Lesser Sunda Islands, Republic of Indonesia
  • Largest Komodo dragon habitat is on the island of Komodo, where they occupy the entire island
  • Occupy small island ranges
    • Komodo: less than 1,000 km2
    • Flores: 400 km2
    • Rinca: 278 km2
  • Two nature reserves on island of Flores: Wae Wuul and Wolo Tado reserves (Ciofi and De Boer 2004)
  • Elevation range
    • Sea level to 800 m (3,000 ft)

All varanid lizards

  • Occur throughout Africa, the Middle East, South-East Asia, and Australia (Fitch et al. 2006)


Indonesia islands

  • Found in arid and mountainous regions
  • Often found in the rocky valleys between 500-700 m
  • Also common in flat savannas
  • Adults frequently occupy the transition zone between tropical monsoon forest and drier savanna

Age-related changes

  • Hatchlings predominantly arboreal
    • Readily climb into trees to feed, rest, or escape predation
  • Juveniles commonly hide in crevices, or under or among rocks (Imansyah et al. 2008)
  • Adults terrestrial
    • May construct burrows along vertical banks of stream beds, or under boulders and fallen trees
    • May sleep in high grass or dense brush at night

Komodo Dragon Distribution

komodo dragon distribution map

The Komodo dragon's range is a fraction of what it once was. Today, they are found on only 5 Indonesian islands.

Adapted from Click here or on the map for detailed distribution.

Page Citations

Auffenberg (1981)
CBSG (1995)
Ciofi and De Boer (2004)
Fitch et al. (2006)

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