Indonesia is set to place a tourist ban on Komodo Island in an attempt to prevent komodo dragon smuggling.
The island, located in Manggarai Barat in East Nusa Tenggara province, will close from January 2020 according to Marius Jelamu, a spokesman for the provincial administration, as reported by Tempo.
The Jakarta Post reported the closure is in response to the attempted smuggling of 41 komodo dragons, an endangered species, to be sold for around $50,000 each.
According to Jelamu, the temporary closure will allow for better preservation of the island’s nature and environment to increase the komodo population.
He also indicated that only the island will close, with the rest of the conservation remaining open.