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    12 Oct 2010

    Greet Mr. & Mrs. Komodo Dragons! Vote and Save Them!

    How would you feel if you could travel back in time and actually see dinosaurs?

    Is it going to be as exciting as an African safari? No, it would of course be 100 times more exciting than that!

    Komodo dragon, as some of you may already know, is the closest living creature to dinosaurs. In fact, Komodo dragon started their evolutionary journey 40 million years ago. They were originally from Asia but along with time, they migrated to Australia. The collision between Australia and Southeast Asia 15 million years ago brought Komodo dragon to Komodo National Park, Indonesia, which has since become their natural ecosystem.

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    The Komodo Dragon. Let’s Take a Closer Look

    The Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) is a large species of lizard found in the Indonesian islands of Komodo, Rinca, Flores, and Gili Motang. A member of the monitor lizard family (Varanidae), it is the largest living species of lizard, growing to an average length of 2 to 3 metres (6.6 to 9.8 ft) and weighing around 70 kilograms (150 lb).

    In the wild, an adult Komodo dragon usually weighs around 70 kilograms (150 lb), although captive specimens often weigh more. The largest verified wild specimen was 3.13 metres (10.3 ft) long and weighed 166 kilograms (370 lb), including undigested food. The Komodo dragon has a tail as long as its body, as well as about 60 frequently replaced serrated teeth that can measure up to 2.5 cm (1 inch) in length. Its saliva is frequently blood-tinged, because its teeth are almost completely covered by gingival tissue that is naturally lacerated during feeding. This creates an ideal culture for the virulent bacteria that live in its mouth. It also has a long, yellow, deeply forked tongue. Komodo dragons are endangered species.

    Male komodo dragon. Photograph: Andrew Parsons/PA

    A female guarding her nest which contains a clutch of eggs. Photograph: George Kourounis

    Behavior

    The Komodo dragon is a solitary animal, except during the breeding season. It is a very territorial animal. It is active during the day, can climb trees, it is a good swimmer and has good eyesight. Although Komodo dragons eat mostly carrion, they will also hunt and ambush prey including invertebrates, birds, and mammals.

    Young Komodo dragon escaping predation by larger dragons by climbing tree. Photograph: Fletcher & Baylis

    Reproduction

    Mating begins between May and August, and the eggs are laid in September. About twenty eggs are deposited in abandoned megapode nests and incubated for seven to eight months, hatching in April, when insects are most plentiful. Young Komodo dragons are vulnerable and therefore dwell in trees, safe from predators and cannibalistic adults. They take around three to five years to mature, and may live as long as fifty years. They are among the rare vertebrates capable of parthenogenesis, in which females may lay viable eggs if males are absent, producing only male offspring.

    Komodo dragon hatching from egg . Photograph: Michael Pitts / naturepl.com

    Threats and Conservation

    The population of Komodo dragons today is estimated to be a mere fraction of its size 50 years ago. Causes of this decline are widespread habitat loss throughout the region, a loss of prey species and hunting. No Komodo dragons have been seen on the island of Padar since the 1970s, the result of widespread poaching of the deer that constitute their chief prey source.

    Komodo and surrounding islands lie within the Komodo National Park. Law has protected these dragons since the 1930s. They are listed as vulnerable by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) and international trade is prohibited by their listing on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). An important tourist trade has sprung-up around these spectacular creatures, bringing over 18,000 visitors to the area each year; it is hoped that this economic incentive will help to safeguard the future of these awesome dragons.

    Komodo National Park


    Komodo National Park is located in the center of the Indonesian archipelago, between the islands of Sumbawa and Flores. Established in 1980, initially the main purpose of the Park was to conserve the unique Komodo dragon (Varanus komodoensis) and its habitat. However, over the years, the goals for the Park have expanded to protecting its entire biodiversity, both terrestrial and marine. In 1986, the Park was declared a World Heritage Site and a Man and Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, both indications of the Park’s biological importance.

    Komodo National Park includes three major islands: Komodo, Rinca and Padar, as well as numerous smaller islands creating a total surface area (marine and land) of 1817km (proposed extensions would bring the total surface area up to 2,321km2). As well as being home to the Komodo dragon, the Park provides refuge for many other notable terrestrial species such as the orange-footed scrub fowl, an endemic rat, and the Timor deer. Moreover, the Park includes one of the richest marine environments including coral reefs, mangroves, seagrass beds, seamounts, and semi-enclosed bays. These habitats harbor more than 1,000 species of fish, some 385 species of reef-building coral, and 70 species of sponges. Dugong, sharks, manta rays, at least 14 species of whales, dolphins, and sea turtles also make Komodo National Park their home. Divers also claim that Komodo waters are one of the best diving sites in the world

    New 7 Wonders. Why Vote?

    Komodo National Park is currently voted as one of the finalists for the New 7 Wonders of Nature campaign held by the New 7 Wonders Foundation. It’s all because of the support that have been given to Komodo National Park. But, it hasn’t over yet.

    I think almost of us agree that to save nature, we have to appreciate it first. Many wanton destructions against Mother Earth were caused by our own ignorance. 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.

    Imagine it. If we can bring many more people to this area, it would give an economic incentive that will help to safeguard the future of these awesome dragons and other species around. So, let’s working on it together. We ask for your continuing support to make Komodo National Park become one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature by voting here. Or enter this URL in your browser: http://www.new7wonders.com/community/en/new7wonders/new7wonders_of_nature/voting

    Reference:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/jun/10/wildlife.animalbehaviour

    http://www.stormchaser.ca/wildlife/komodo_dragons/komodo_dragons.html

    http://www.arkive.org/komodo-dragon/varanus-komodoensis/

    http://www.indonesia.travel/en/destination/106/komodo-national-park

    http://www.turisku.com/headquarter/komodo-national-park-the-new-7-wonders-of-the-world/

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    11 Oct 2010

    Vote Komodo as The New 7 Wonder

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    11 Oct 2010

    Malaysia Admits Indonesia as The Largest Economy in SE Asia

    Customers talk in front the Malaysias Public Bank logo at its headquarters in Kuala Lumpur January 20, 2010. Malaysias Public Bank expects profit margin to stabilise in 2010 after a slight drop last year as the economy recovers from the worst downturn in more than a decade, said a top executive.

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    Public Bank is launching its latest fund, PB Indonesia Balanced Fund (PBINDOBF), on 12 October 2010. PBINDOBF is a balanced fund that seeks to achieve income and capital growth by investing in a portfolio of investments primarily in the Indonesian market including Indonesian businesses/companies listed in other permitted markets. PBINDOBF is managed by Public Bank s wholly-owned subsidiary, Public Mutual.

    Public Mutuals Chief Executive Officer Ms. Yeoh Kim Hong said Indonesia is the largest economy in Southeast Asia and is among the fastest growing countries in the region. As an emerging economy, Indonesia charted a healthy growth rate averaging 5.1% per annum over 2000-2009, underpinned by resilient domestic demand and a series of economic reforms.

    PBINDOBF allows investors the opportunity to participate in the long-term growth potential of a diversified portfolio of blue chip stocks, growth stocks, fundamentally undervalued stocks and dividend stocks traded in the Indonesian market as well as Indonesian businesses/companies listed in other permitted markets.

    From: KompasCom

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    8 Oct 2010

    UNESCO to Declare Angklung World Heritage Soon

    Indonesia’s traditional music instrument, the  ’Angklung’, is soon to be officially delared a world heritage item by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) like  batik, wayang, and the keris before.
        
    "On November 18, angklung will be declared a world heritage article ," Wardiyanto, secretary general of the Tourism and Culture Ministry, said here Thursday.
        
    He said the ministry had made intensive efforts to convince  UNESCO of the need to recognize  angklung as one of the world’s heritage items like  batik, the keris (ceremonal dagger) and wayang (Javanese traditional puppets) which had obtained the world heritage status earlier, he said. The efforts to get the angklung included  in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, were made for the first time years ago, he said.
        
    "We plan to have  more things of Indonesian culture recognized as part of the world’s heritage," he said.

    At present a total of  890 objects world wide are on UNESCO’s world heritage list and  689 of them are in the culture category,  176 in the nature category and 25 in both the culture and nature categories.
        
    Of the  890 objects with world heritage status  11 were Indonesian with four of them in the nature,  three in the  culture and  four in the  intangible culture categories. The Indonesian natural heritages consist of Ujung Kulon National Park in Banten Province, Komodo National Park in East Nusa Tenggara, Lorentz National Park in West Papua province, and Sumatran tropical forests comprising the Gunung Leuser, Kerinci Sablat and Bukit Barisan national parks.

    The three cultural heritages are the Borobudur Temple, Prambanan Temple, and Sangiran Pre-historical site. The intangible world heritages from Indonesia were the wayang  and keris which were recognized as masterpieces of the oral and intangible heritage of humanity in 2003 and 2005, and also batik as a tangible cultural heritage of humanity in 2009.

    From: KompasCom

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    7 Oct 2010

    White Peacock, Bali Bird Park, Indonesia
beingindonesian:

Merak Putih di Taman Burung Bali, Indonesia.

    White Peacock, Bali Bird Park, Indonesia

    beingindonesian:

    Merak Putih di Taman Burung Bali, Indonesia.

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