23 February 2016
Close up of komodo dragon with tongue out

This animal is just one of the many species Chester Zoo keeper, Matt Cook, works with at the zoo. He travelled to Indonesia to work with the Komodo Survival Program (KSP), using his skills and experience of working with this animal, to help with their study of wild komodo dragons.

The role of the KSP is to monitor the dragon populations, collect data to improve our knowledge and to educate local communities on the species. The conservation of these giant reptiles and their habitat is of course the main aim of the project.

Below Matt tells us more about his trip:

Chester Zoo, along with many other EAZA institutes supports the funding of the Komodo Survival Program through the European Endangered Species Programme (EEP). Without such support this conservation project would not be able to function.

We’re also working on a three-year-long survey which is currently in its second year. The research project aims to discover whether there are any other Komodo dragon populations on the island of Flores that we don’t yet know about. Our findings will hopefully enable us to then establish more National Parks in order to protect the species on the island, as well as the other wildlife that live in the area. Watch this space for more updates on this work or sign up to our monthly Act for Wildlife e-newsletter for news straight to your inbox!