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Monitors
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. 

 
Green group- Sustainability guide to monitor lizards Print E-mail

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The green species are widely available from captive bred sources; if you keep pairs of these animals you have a good chance of breeding them if you treat them right, and if you just want a pet you have the satisfaction of knowing that they have not been taken from the wild. 

 

Varanus acanthurus (all subspecies?) 
Varanus baritji
Varanus brevicauda
Varanus bushi
Varanus caudolineatus
Varanus eremius?
Varanus gilleni
Varanus glauerti
Varanus glebopalma
Varanus hamersleyensis?
Varanus kingorum
Varanus mitchelli
Varanus pilbarensis
Varanus primordius
Varanus scalaris
Varanus storri
Varanus tristis (all subspecies)
Varanus giganteus?
Varanus gouldii      
Varanus mertensi
Varanus panoptes (all subspecies)
Varanus rosenbergi?
Varanus spenceri
Varanus varius
Varanus gouldi (all subspecies)
  

 

 

 
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

spinulosusjp88.jpg

 

 
Sustainability guide to monitor lizards in wildlife trade Print E-mail

To assist anybody who cares, monitor lizards are ranked according to sustainability in the pet trade.

greenhalf.jpg The green species are widely available from captive bred sources; if you keep pairs of these animals you have a good chance of breeding them if you treat them right, and if you just want a pet you have the satisfaction of knowing that they have not been taken from the wild.

 

 
yellow100.jpg  The yellow species are almost always taken from the wild. They are very occasionally bred in captivity and 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.

Read more...
 
Book Review: Savannah and Grassland Monitors Print E-mail

Book Review from mampam.com ©Daniel Bennett 2002
Book Review: Savannah and Grassland Monitors
Robert George Sprackland. 2000. 70 pages. The Herpetocultural Library, Advanced Vivarium Systems, Mission Viejo, California.
Rating (out of 10) = 2

This review has been moved to the Wall of Shame

 
Fabricated breeding and field reports Print E-mail

The following is a list of published papers that contain fabricated information about breeding Varanus lizards.

 

CARLZEN,H. 1982. Breeding green tree monitors. Herpetology Journal 12 (2):4-6.

LUTZ, M. 2006. Der Butaan (Varanus olivaceus), HALLOWELL 1856, Haltung und erste erfolgreiche Nachzucht im Terrarium. Sauria 28 (4): 5-13

ZWINEBERG,A.J. 1972.Aqua.Terra.Z. 9(10):98-102. Varanus  exanthematicus

 
Varanus auffenbergi Print E-mail
Varanus auffenbergi is a species of dubious vailidity. The species description was controversially  published in a pet hobbyist magazine and splits lizards on the island of Roti from other members of the timorensis group on the basis of pattern and colouration. The species was not recognised as valid by King and Smith (2004), who stated that a review of all four main populations (Timor, Savu, Roti, Semau) of Varanus timorensis was required. Del Canto (2007) provides information on the ecology of V. timorensison Roti, and states that the tiny island of Ndao was home to lizards more similar to those from Timor than from Roti.
Del Canto, R. 2007. Notes on the Occurrence of Varanus auffenbergi
on Roti Island. Biawak 1(1): 24-25.
King, D & L.A. Smith. Varanus timorensis. In Pianka, E.R.,D. King & R.A. King. 2004. Varanoid LIzards of the World. Indiana University Press.
Sprackland, R.G. 1999. A new species of Monitor (Squamata: Varanidae) from Indonesia. Reptile Hobbyist 4(6): 20-27.
 
Book Review - Australian Goannas Print E-mail
Book Review from mampam.com

©Daniel Bennett 2000

Australian Goannas. Matt Vincent and Steve Wilson.   1999. New Holland Publishers, Frenchs Forest. 152pp. AUS $29.95. Available from; 14 Aquatic Drive, Frenchs Forest, NSW 2086, Australia. Rating (out of 10) = 8

Read more...
 
Book Review - Advances in Monitor Research II Print E-mail
Book Review from mampam.com

© Daniel Bennett 2000

Advances in Monitor Research II. H.G. Horn and W.Bohme (eds).

1999. Mertensiella 11. 366p. About 70 Deutsche Marks.

Rating (out of 10) = 9
Read more...
 
Book Review - Nile Monitors by Robert Faust Print E-mail
Book Review: from Mampam Conservation © Daniel Bennett, 2002.
Nile Monitors by Robert Faust
95 pages, 84 colour photos and drawings. Published by Barrons, New York.
Rating (out of 10) = 10
Read more...
 
Pet Crocodile Monitors Print E-mail
ImageThe crocodile monitor, Varanus salvadorii, is perhaps responsible for more hospital visits than any other lizard in the USA, despite the fact that only about 200 are legally imported each year. Crocodile monitors have a remarkable set of teeth that inflict deep and severe flesh wounds. The most serious result in permanent disability and almost all crocodile monitor bites leave permanent scars. Read about people's experiences with Varanus salvadorii in our review.
Read more...
 
Book Review: The Biology of Varanid Lizards (2nd edition) Print E-mail
Book Review from mampam.com

© Daniel Bennett 2001

Monitors. The Biology of Varanid Lizards (2nd edition). Dennis King and Brian Green

(1999). 134 pp. Krieger Publishing Company, Malabar, Florida. US$25.50 (paper)

Rating (out of ten) = 5
Read more...
 
Brady Barr wins Mampam Award Print E-mail

The Mampam Conservation Award for Cruelty to Reptiles, the Mampam Conservation Award for Mishandling and Abusing Reptiles and the Mampam Conservation Award for Disgraceful and Shameful Behaviour in Front of Impressionable Youth all go to Doctor Brady Barr of National Geographic. Congratulations to Doctor Brady Barr for his outstanding contributions in all these categories. Doctor Bardy Barr is invited to pick up his award, and hear his congratulatory speech, at a mutually convenient time and place.

 
Monitors as Pets Print E-mail
ImageThe Shorter Oxford English Dictionary defines a pet as "any animal that is domesticated or tamed and kept as a favourite, or treated with fondness". Monitor lizards can certainly not be domesticated. If you allow one the run of your home it will cause untold damage without showing the slightest remorse. If you let it out of the house it is highly unlikely that it will ever come back of its own accord.
Read more...
 
How much space do they need? Print E-mail
ImageA myth, that is extraordinarily common considering its stupidity, is that an animal "will grow to the size of its surroundings, and then stop"! This, of course, is utter nonsense. A healthy reptile never stops growing, from the day it is laid to the day it dies. Many monitor lizards spend most of the day fast asleep, and may not initially appear to very active animals. However when they do move they tend to cover a lot of distance.
Read more...
 
Should I get a Monitor Lizard? Print E-mail
ImageI don't keep monitor lizards, but lots of people ask me for advice on the subject. If you are new to monitor keeping and want to know which is the best species to keep you will find a mryiad of advice both online and in print on the subject. Most people would advise you to get something "easy" like a savanna monitor (Varanus exanthematicus). I strongly disagree. Hundreds of thousands of savanna monitors have been caught in the wild and exported to Europe and the US in the last decade, virtually all of which are dead within a year or so.
Read more...
 
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.
Read more...
 
Book Reviews Print E-mail

Book Reviews from Mampam.com

It's easy to criticise other people's work, so I spent some time doing it!

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Food & Supplements Print E-mail
ImageNo expense should be spared when raising animals destined to be fed to monitor lizards. They should be fed only fresh foods and kept under the best conditions possible. For guidance on breeding insects, rodents, snails and other suitable prey items you should consult members of your local herpetological society. With the exception of Gray's monitor (whose diet in captivity is discussed in Chapter 6), plants do not figure in the diets of monitor lizards.
Read more...
 
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About Mampam
Fish of Bui National Park

syno-200.jpg

According to many authoritative atlases and maps, Bui National Park is already underwater! But the hydro electric dam first planned in the 1920s was not started until August 24th 2007.  Now work has begun on a controversial hydroelectric dam that will destroy the riverine habitat of the park. Many millions of $$ were spent on the environmental impact assessment, but fortunately a team of poachers wildlife staff and students produced a much better guide to the Fishes of Bui National Park

 
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The Butaan Project
The Butaan Project - Conservation

polillomap1.jpgThe dark green patch at center left in this unmanipulated Google Earth image is the last remaining fragment of unlogged lowland dipterocarp forest on Polillo Island, and our main study site for the last 11 years. Less than one square mile in size (220ha) and less than 100m above sea level, the Sibulan Watershed Reserve has lost much of its secondary boundary forest over the last six years through illegal and uncontrolled agricultural activities. 

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