More than twenty years have passed since Walter Auffenberg's monumental The Behavioral Ecology of the Komodo Monitor. In the intervening years the populations of Komodo dragons—native only to a handful of islands in southeast Indonesia—have dwindled, sparking intensive conservation efforts. During the last two decades new information about these formidable predators has emerged, and the most important findings are clearly presented here.
A memoir from Walter Auffenberg and his son Kurt is followed by the latest information on Komodo dragon biology, ecology, population distribution, and behavior. The second part of the book is dedicated to step-by-step management and conservation techniques, both for wild and captive dragons. This successful model is a useful template for the conservation of other endangered species as well, for, as Kurt and Walter Auffenberg note, “The species may well indeed survive in the wild for generations to come while countless other organisms are lost.”
James B. Murphy, Claudio Ciofi, Colomba de la Panouse, Trooper Walsh
JAMES B. MURPHY retired as curator of herpetology at the Dallas Zoo, where he worked for thirty years, and is currently a research associate at the Smithsonian's National Zoo. CLAUDIO CIOFI is a research associate at Yale University. COLOMBA DE LA PANOUSE is the zoological director at Parc Zoologique de Thoiry in France. TROOPER WALSH recently retired from his position as a biologist in the Department of Herpetology at the Smithsonian's National Zoo.