Oriental Dragon Protection

Since the passage by the United States of the Endangered Species Act of 1972, a measure designed to protect dragons, the International Dragon Lover's Association has been lobbying for the protection of dragon eggs both in the United States and throughout the rest of the world. They have been working to have an international moratorium placed on dragon hunting through the United Nations since 1988, but this has been strongly opposed by the International Dragon Slayer's Association.

Although the oriental dragon is worshiped and considered a symbol of good luck, Emperors have been harvesting them for years for their blood, flesh, and jewels. While this is unfortunate, the poaching of dragons by hunters and opportunistic men who deal in the black market sale of their prized parts have led to their decimation and endangerment.

The conservation of adult dragons is supported by scientists all over the world, and here nearly all biologists take the position that a series of refuges are needed in the ranges of all species if dragons are to survive. There is a bill before the United Nations at this time, which is proposing sanctuaries set up in the few remaining dragon habitats. Areas that have been proposed as International Dragon Sanctuaries include: Loch Ness in Scotland and Lake Okanagan in British Columbia for the protection of the lake dragon, the vicinity of Mount Fiji and the streams and lakes at its base for the Oriental flightless dragon, and the entire Yucatan Peninsula and the Caribbean from Cuba northward for the American flightless Dragon. The European fire-breathing dragon is now so rare that nobody has been able to suggest a specific sanctuary, but the mountain ranges of northern Italy and the higher peaks of Greece are likely areas for consideration. The best sanctuary for the flying dragons of Asia would probably be the mountains of the Kamchatka Peninsula and the Koryak and Cydan ranges of the adjoining portions of Siberia. Political problems make it impossible to know to what extent protection is now being afforded dragons in this region. 

In North Korea, the flying dragon has been proposed as National Monument Number 425, and to disturb or kill one is punishable by death. This is harsh justice indeed, but the Koreans are to be commended for their special efforts to protect the flocks of flying dragons that still breed in their country.

Many scientists are lobbying for an international breeding program similar to the one being tried in the United States for vultures. Wild dragons have never been successfully brought into captivity; it is not known whether they could or would ever adjust to such conditions.

Some biologists have suggested taking a few eggs from the wild population and rearing the hatchlings under foster parents, such as eagles. 

Other scientists have suggested that keepers in dragon costume care for the dragonlings, so that the humans do not "imprint" unnatural parental stimuli on the young dragons. These dragon-parent surrogates would also have the responsibility for teaching the dragonlings the basics of draconian culture and providing them with religious training, including belief in a Supreme Dragon.

With fewer dragons seen every year, it is becoming more apparent to government officials, scientists, and the general public that if something isn't done about the dragon population, they will join the list of other extinct species.