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The Butaan Project Print E-mail

Giant frugivorous monitor lizards only live in the Philippines and are under serious threat from habitat destruction. The butaan of Polillo Island are disappearing fast! We developed a range of non-intrusive methods to study these animals on Polillo Island and have used them to explore other areas of the Philippines, with very exciting results. 

 

butanvideo1.jpgThe butaan has a reputation throughout its range for being delicious to eat and as a result it is often heavily hunted in degraded forests where the animals are easy to find. Very little of the forest that still exists is suitable for the butaan. On Polillo only tiny patches of forest remain and the butaan are disappearing fast. Click here to access the Butaan Project 

 

  

  

 

     

  

 

 

The butaan is endangered throughout its range but the situation on Polillo Island is critical. Very little forest remains and unprotected areas are being rapidly destroyed. When corridors between patches break down the lizards soon disappear. Click here to access the Butaan Project  

 

 

 

 
ImageThanks to vigorous publicity campaigns, most people on Polillo are now aware that the butaan is a very rare animal that is precious to the island. Hunting of the species has been greatly reduced but populations continue to plummet as habitat is lost. The Philippines has lost over 95% of its lowland forest over the last fifty years and the fragments that remain tend to be small, isolated and unsuitable for butaan.On the mainland of Luzon we have discovered new form of giant fruit-eating lizard in forests that are being logged on a massive scale. Click here to access the Butaan Project 
 

 

 Image Because giant fruit-eating lizards are so shy they are easily overlooked by scientists. New species still await discovery but many more have probably disappeared without ever being identified. The situation for the remaining populations is critical. We desperately need your help. Although the other endangered monitor lizard (the famous Komodo dragon) has received vast amounts of funding to aid its conservation, the butaan has been almost entirely neglected. Just $10 will make a difference! Please consider helping us. We will acknowledge your support here and in subsequent publications and keep you informed of all developments.

Click here to access the Butaan Project  

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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
The Butaan Project - Research
butaan3.jpgThe only obligate fruit-eaters among reptiles are three species of monitor lizard that live in the Philippines. Frugivorous vertebrates tend to be able to fly (almost all are bats and birds) and so these lizards have a unique ecological role as highly specialized and relatively immobile fruit eaters. Before this project started, the only studies of this unique giant and endangered lizard had involved killing the animals. We have developed a set of techniques that allow us to learn about these animals in a completely non-destructive way.
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