Trapped on island habitats made smaller by rising seas, Indonesia’s Komodo dragons are now listed as “endangered” in an update of the wildlife Red List.
About 28% of the 138,000 species assessed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) are now at risk of vanishing in the wild forever, as the destructive impact of human activity on the natural world deepens.
Komodo dragons are found only in Komodo National Park and neighbouring Flores in Indonesia.
The species “is increasingly threatened by the impacts of climate change”, said the IUCN.
Rising sea levels are expected to shrink its tiny habitat at least 30% over the next 45 years.
“The idea that these prehistoric animals have moved one step closer to extinction due in part to climate change is terrifying,” said Andrew Terry, Conservation Director at the Zoological Society of London.
Their decline is a “clarion call for nature to be placed at the heart of all decision making” at crunch United Nations climate talks in Glasgow, he added. — AFP