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Riung Nature Conservation Park
The Riung Conservation area is located on the North Coast of the Ngada District on the  island of Flores, in the Nusa Tenggara region of Eastern Indonesia. The area is a mosaic of forests interspersed with grasslands and a patchwork of small farms sloping downwards to the  sea. The coastal zone of Riung is dotted with a number of small islands harboring outstanding reefs and marine life.

Since the early 1970�s several protected areas have been designated in  Riung including a terrestrial nature reserve, a protection forest, a marine nature reserve, and a marine recreational park. Riung�s unique geography is one of the reasons that conservationist�s are eager to protect its biodiversity. The local government is also interested in developing this  area into a tourist resort. 

For these reasons, since the early 1980s several protected areas have been designated in the Riung subdistrict.
  • In 1983 an area of approximately 1.670 ha around the town of Riung (within the administrative boundaries of five villages) was declared a protected forest. 
  • In 1987 the coastline and the sea around most of the small islands off the coast was declared the Seventeen Islands Marine Nature Reserve. Given its potential as a tourist destination, the government subsequently divided the reserve into two distinct units: i) the Seventeen Islands Marine Recreation Park, covering an area of approximately 9.900 ha; and ii) the Riung Marine Reserve, covering approximately 2.000 ha. 
  • Further inland, the terrestrial Wewo Tadho Nature Reserve, established in 1992, covers an area of 4.016 ha and completely surrounds the Riung subdistrict capital. 
  • Finally, a 200-m-wide strip along the coastline was declared a green belt conservation area.
Riung Nature Conservation Park is also the sanctuary of Varanus Riungensis or Mbou in Riung language. It is the similar species with the dragons which occupy Komodo National Park but due to it's natural setting, the dragons of Riung are brighter in color and seems a bit slimmer than those in Komodo National Park. 

The most possible places to encounter Varanus Riungensis are in Tanjung Torongpadang and the area next to the village of Damu and Marotauk. The coastal villages people in Riung often encounter Mbou especially during hunting season and they never have an intention to kill Mbou, just let Mbou go. But once the kill of Mbou happened when the people from the interior of Riung participate on the project of opening new road between Mbarungkeli and Damu. It was in happened in 1970's when the local government forced all the people in Riung to manually built road which is now part of the Northen Section of Trans Flores road. No excavator or other modern tools but hoe, shovel and the like.

It is common some villagers in the interior of Riung consume lizard meat. So, when they camp on the site between the vilalge of Mbarungkeli and Damu one day their dogs keep barking next to a creek. All of them run closer in hope there will be boar or deer being caught by the dogs. To their surprise they saw such a giant lizard, some of them shouted "nde'ng gora, nde'eng gora....." They thought it was a mother of all "goras". Nde' means mother and gora is lizard. With very tough effort they finally could catch "nde'ng gora" and thought it could be butchered for lunch barbeque. But their effort to get the meat out of "nde'ng gora' was come out empty. No knife could tear the body of "nde'ng gora" apart.
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