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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.
 
 

 

About Mampam
William Oliver

William Oliver. Champion of biodiversity and its students. So many of us benefited from his advice and expertise. What a character. RIP.

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Help Mampam
The Butaan Project
The Butaan Project - Foraging behaviour

butaan7.jpgWe use feces to investigate diet and activity areas of butaan. In total we have examined more than 1500 samples, possibly the largest ever collected for a single population of reptiles.  Butaan and their relatives are huge specialised frugivores, much bigger than any other specialised frugivorous animal in  the Philippines. They need a constant supply of fruit but lack the wings that allow other frugivores to forage in different forest fragments. Large and immobile, the butaan depends on a very narrow range of foods.

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