The position of the Komodo (Varanus commodoensis), in the competition for inclusion in the world’s new seven wonders has gotten stronger, said a tourism official here Thursday.
“The Komodo’s position is now pretty strong and last week it was even in first place,” said Ulbadus Gogi, head of East Nusa Tenggara’s tourism and culture office on Thursday.
Gogi said that since being formally announced on July 21, 2009 by the New7Wonders Foundation, the komodo was selected a finalist with the other 28 finalists that opened the way for the final phase of the competition after beating more than 440 nominations from 220 countries.
The foundation has now these finalists in the last leg of the list : Anggel Falls, the Dead Sea, Komodo dragon, Galapagos, Grand Canyon, Great Barrier Reef, Halong Bay, Iguazu Falls, Jeita Grotto, Maldives, Puerto Princesa, Uluru and Vesuvius.
Gogi expected that the Indonesian people, not only those living in East Nusa Tenggara province where the islands on which Komodo lives is situated, to give support because if these pre-historic animal be selected one of the new seven wonders, the positive impacts would be felt by the whole nation.
“We’ve been striving hard. Governor Fransciscus Lebu Raya even had tasked the head of tourism and culture office in 2009 to tour many Indonesian provinces to explain about the position of komodo and seek support,” Gogi said.
He admitted that in June 2010, the position of komodo was on the brink of exclusion as it downgraded to the 14th place. But since the last one month its position has consistently been on the third place.
There are some 4,000 to 5,000 living Komodo dragons in the wild in the province. Their populations are restricted respectively to the islands of Gili Motang (100), Gili Dasami (100), Rinca (1,300), Komodo (1,700), and Flores (2,000).
Komodo National Park does not only shelter the endangered komodos but also home to 385 underwater species of beautiful corals, mangrove forests, and seaweeds as a home for thousands of fish species, 70 types of sponges, 10 types of dolphins, 6 types of whales, green turtles and various types of sharks and stingrays. Komodo Island is also one of the best diving sites in the world, as cited by many tourism catalogues.
News Source : Kompas
Photo Source : The Best Travel Destinations
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