Photographer's Note

I had to make a choice - to see more Komodo dragons and to hike in the jungle or to admire the underwater world. You know what I chose. I wish I stayed there another day and I could also snorkel in the clear water among mantas and dolphins.

ndonesia comprises over 17,000 islands and Komodo National Park sits in the middle of the archipelago. Originally famous for the world’s largest, toxin-secreting, ambushing, ten-foot-long, 150-pound lizards, Komodo became a national park in 1980 to help protect the Komodo dragon. Further recognition of the importance of this area led to it becoming a UNESCO Man and Biosphere Reserve in 1986, and a World Heritage Site in 1992. About 3,000 individual Komodo dragons exist within the park today, and they are considered a vulnerable species on the IUCN Red List.

Encompassing Komodo, Rinca, Padar, and 26 smaller islands, Komodo National Park is a great example of how protecting one animal also helps preserve so much more—the surrounding ocean, and underwater photographers, are major beneficiaries. The park falls within the Coral Triangle, stretching from the Philippines to the Solomons to Java, and is considered the most biodiverse marine area on Earth. There are over 1,000 fish species, almost 300 types of coral, 70 sponges, 14 species of whales, six turtle species, and even dugongs in this protected area. The park also contains a variety of marine ecosystems, including fringing and patch coral reefs, mangrove forests, seagrass beds, and seamounts. (

I saw some dolphins near our boat. Here three pictures of the reef - taken from the pier - two more as Workshop.

And I must confess - I was a coward and I was afraid to jump into the see with the snorkelling equipment, unfortunately :(.

Better to see in the large format.

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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 13046 W: 139 N: 33748] (153888)
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