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Magazine Articles
Dumeril's Monitor Print E-mail
ImageDumeril's monitor is a large lizard from southeast Asia about which very little is known. Until a few years ago they were not uncommon in the pet trade in Europe and the U.S.A. but breeding success with the species was very limited and today they rarely appear on dealers' lists.
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Caspian Monitor Print E-mail
ImageVaranus griseus is perhaps the most widespread extant monitor lizard. It is found from northwestern Africa through all deserts as far as western India. Within this range three subspecies are recognised; V. griseus griseus from Africa the Middle East and Iraq, V.griseus koniecznyi from eastern Afghanistan through Pakistan to India and V.griseus caspius from eastern Iran, western Afghanistan and the adjacent part of the U.S.S.R.
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Water Monitor Print E-mail
The first two articles in this occasional series on the monitor lizards of Asia discussed two rare and enigmatic animals found only in rainforests and mangrove swamps. Virtually nothing is known of their biology and they are only rarely seen in captivity, at least on this side of the Atlantic (Bennett 1993, 1995).
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New Species... Print E-mail
In my Little Book of Monitor Lizards, published in 1995 I suggested that "the monitor lizards of Indonesia are a taxonomist's paradise, providing they do not get seasick". Since then four new species have been described from the region...
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About Mampam
Bye Bye Butaan

 butaan1.jpg

Butaan start to visit fruiting trees before they are large enough to swallow the fruits. They make repeat journeys to trees, perhaps to reinforce memory of the position of the tree. If the youngster survives it may continue to use this tree for many decades. Fruiting trees like this are a vital resource for entire populations of butaan. Learn more >


 
Help Mampam
The Butaan Project
Varanus bitatawa

Varanus bitatawa is the third species of  monitor lizard to be recognised by science that belongs to the "Pandan Biawak" group,  all of which are of at least as great a conservation concern as the Komodo dragon, but receive virtually none of the attention. Pandan Biawak occur only in lowland dipterocarp forest. The first species (Varanus olivaceus or Butaan) was discovered in 1845 and not seen alive by a scientist until the late 1970s. The next species (Varanus mabitang or Mabitang) was discovered in 2001 and in 2010 Varanus bitatawa (Butikaw or Bitatawa) was described. Other species of frugivorous monitor lizards may remain undescribed, but many may have  gone extinct without ever having been recognised.

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