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Monitor Lizards
Nile monitor taxonomy 2015 Print E-mail

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Two groundbreaking papers examining genetic diversity in Varanus niloticus have turned the taxonomy of the group on its head and raised important questions about the conservation status of some populations (Dowell et all 2015a, b). In contrast to many other molecular works that aim to investigate phylogeny of Varanus lizards, these studies rely on large samples that include both old museum material (59) and recently collected (66) specimens, and used microsatellite loci, mitochondrial and nuclear markers in analyses. This thorough approach allows researchers to measure diversity both within and between populations and to find evidence of past and present population declines.



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End the wildlife trade in small island endemic monitor lizards Print E-mail

Some species of monitor lizard popular in the wildlife trade belong to species restricted to tiny islands in South East Asia. Very few of these animals ever reproduce in captivity and the actual trade vastly exceeds the declared trade. Virtually nothing is known of the population status or ecology of any of these species. Captive breeding of these species is restricted to very rare, isolated events.  Some of the species occur only on extremely small islands, and unlikely to occur in large numbers. Many people consider the pet trade to be a significant threat to the conservation of these species but, because they are virtually unstudied and levels of exploitation cannot be documented, very little hard evidence exists.

What can be done:
1. Put pressure on animal dealers not to stock small island endemic monitors that might have been taken from the wild.
2. Put pressure on animal keepers not to buy small island endemic monitors without unambiguous proof that they have not been taken from the wild.
3. Encourage research into the ecology and distribution of small island endemic monitors
4. Encourage international coordinated breeding attempts with priority species by competent individuals and institutions

Varanus macraei
Varanus obor
Varanus auffenbergi
Varanus reisingeri
Varanus kordensis
Varanus s. ziegleri??
Varanus boehmei
Varanus spinulosus
Varanus beccarii
Varanus melinus
Varanus cumingi samarensis
Varanus caeruliverens
Varanus rainerguentheri
Varanus yuwonoi
Varanus togianus

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Red group - Sustainable guide to monitor lizards Print E-mail

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The red species are restricted to small islands or habitats on larger island that have been reduced to fragmented remnants. They do not feature in leather trade but they are popular and expensive in the wildlife trade. The distribution, ecology and population status of almost all of these species is very poorly understood. These species very rarely reproduce in captivity and so captive bred stock is almost impossible to find. However many wild sourced animals of many species are exported and marketed as captive bred, captive farmed or ranched specimens. These claims are almost invariably false. Most individuals entering the pet trade die  after a very short time, either because they succumb during transport or because they are very difficult to keep in captivity. Species marked in red may be at direct risk of extirpation and extinction as a result of over harvesting by wildlife trade. 

 

 

 

 

Varanus beccarii
Varanus boehmei
Varanus bogerti*
Varanus juxtindicus*
Varanus keithhornei?
Varanus kordensis ?
Varanus macraei
Varanus melinus
Varanus lirungensis*
Varanus obor?
Varanus reisingeri
Varanus telenesetes*
Varanus yuwonoi
Varanus spinulosus
Varanus zugorum
Varanus salvator group (some species?)
Varanus bitatawa
Varanus mabitang
Varanus olivaceus

Undescribed Varanus species, mainly from Indonesia

* Not known in wildlife trade

Join the fight to end the trade in small island endemic monitor lizards

 
Orange species - Sustainable guide to monitor lizards Print E-mail

 

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The orange species have a restricted geographical range or specific habitat preferences. They are uncommon in the leather trade but some species are popular in the wildlife trade. Theses species are very rarely bred in captivity and almost impossible to find as captive bred stock. Unless you have experience of breeding monitor lizards and want to attempt to breed the se species in captivity, you should avoid them.

 

 

Varanus dumerilii
Varanus rudicollis
Varanus flavescens*
Varanus salvator group (some species)
Varanus salvadorii
Varanus prasinus?
Varanus yemenensis
Varanus caerulivirens
Varanus cerambonensis
Varanus doreanus
Varanus finschi
Varanus indicus
Varanus jobiensis

Varanus rainerguentheri 

 

 
Yellow species -Sustainable guide to monitors Print E-mail

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The yellow species are almost always taken from the wild. They are sometimes bred in captivity although captive bred stock is very difficult to find. These species inhabit very large areas and there are no reasons to suppose that the wildlife trade is having a detrimental impact on their global populations because 1) numbers harvested for wildlife trade are relatively small or 2) because populations are known to be large and robust. African and Asian species tend also to be harvested for meat or leather, in much larger numbers than are taken for the pet trade. Buying these species will not have any significant effect on wild populations.

 

 

 

Varanus albigularis (all subspecies)

Varanus exanthematicus

Varanus niloticus

Varanus salvator group  (most species)

Varanus ornatus

Varanus griseus*

Varanus bengalensis*

 

* = CITES Appendix 1 species - no commercial trade allowed. 

 
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About Mampam
Savannah Monitor Book

 

Our pet-owners' guide to savannah monitor lizard is the first ever written by people who have studied the animals in the wild and bred them in captivity. There are at least seven books in print about the savannah monitor, but we think this is the only one worth reading! Last few available 

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Worldwide orders available

 

 
Help Mampam
The Butaan Project
Polillo Butaan Project Final Report 1999-2010

Download Polillo Butaan Project Final Report 1999-2010(2MB)
Download Appendix II and III (2MB)
Download entire document (4MB)

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