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Monitors
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.
 
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.
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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

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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
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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
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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
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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.

 
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.
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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.
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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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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.
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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.
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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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Monitor Lizards & International Law Print E-mail
ImageNearly all countries are signatories of the CITES convention which controls the trade in animals and plants considered to be vulnerable to commercial exploitation. All species of monitor lizard are afforded protection under this legislation. It is not lawful to transport the animals across international boundaries without a CITES export certificate from the country of origin and a CITES import certificate from the country of destination.
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Keeping Monitor Lizards successfully Print E-mail
ImageThe following chapters are dedicated to keeping monitor lizards successfully in captivity. "Successfully" does not mean that the animals merely live a disease-free existence until old age causes their ultimate demise. It means that all the functions of life are performed by the animals as they would be in nature, including reproduction.
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Book Review - Savannah Monitors by Robert Sprackland 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
Read more...
 
Disease & Choosing a Monitor Print E-mail
ImageUnfortunately, the diseases of monitor lizards are many and the cures are few (Kohler 1992; Stanfill 1995). The good news is that once an imported monitor is cleared of disease, it should be possible to keep it that way by keeping its enclosure and furnishings clean and avoiding any contact with sources of contamination such as wild foods and other reptiles whose health is suspect or unknown.
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How long do Monitors live? Print E-mail
ImageThere are very few records of the longevity of monitor lizards in captivity (Flower 1925, 1937, Snider & Bowler 1992, Bennett 1994) and virtually none of their lifespan in the wild. The record appears to be held by the Taronga Zoo in Sydney, where a Komodo dragon was kept for 24.5 years. The animal was adult when acquired, and a total lifespan of about 50 years has been predicted for this species (Auffenberg 1981).
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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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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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U.K. Customers

 

   Customers outside U.K.

 

To mark the export of half a million savannah monitors from Africa for the pet trade in the 21st century “The Truth about Varanus exanthematicus has been released as an ebook.  Just £3 worldwide!

 

 
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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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