Varanus komodoensis, Komodo dragon. Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago. FMNH catalogue no. 22199. Conservation status: vulnerable. The Komodo dragon is the largest lizard in the world and is found only on the island of Komodo in Indonesia and on the neighbouring islands of Rinca and Flores. It was thought that Komodos used deadly saliva containing toxic bacteria to poison their prey but recent research has shown that they are venomous. The population is estimated to be a small fraction of its size 50 years ago. Causes of this decline are widespread habitat loss, loss of prey species and hunting. ....As biologists describe new species and add to our understanding of the interrelated nature of life on Earth, a species becomes extinct every 20 minutes (100 to 1000 times the background extinction rate as seen in the fossil record). Collections in natural history museums play important roles in conservation, education and research. Most of that work and the associated specimens are not on public display in museums? typically, less than five percent of specimens are exhibited.