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Welfare of Savannah Monitors Print E-mail

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Tens of thousands of savannah monitors are exported from West Africa every year for the pet trade, but what happens to them? Very few survive more than 5 years and the vast majority are dead within a year. Many of the survivors end up as unwanted pets. But the species is heavily promoted as an ideal choice of pet lizard for inexperienced keepers. 

Savannah monitor lizards are one of the most abused animals in the reptile pet trade. Toted as an easy to care for species it is actually a highly specialised animal that takes a long time to die in unsuitable conditions. Thousands are imported from Africa each year, almost none are bred in captivity and they are one of the most common lizard species encountered by animal rescue organisations. Demand for the animals has been fuelled by a series of books and articles that have completely ignored the animals' specialised ecology and given the wholly incorrect impression that the animals are "easy to keep", "ideal for beginners" "will eat almost anything" etc.  These publications are sold almost exclusively in pet shops simply to increase sales, and with utter disregard for the welfare of the animals.
 
 

 

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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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