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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.
 
 

 

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The Butaan Project

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Since 1999 the Butaan Project has been studying the rare, endangered, and unique fruit-eating monitor lizards of the Philippines.  Butaan is just one of several races of frugivorous monitor lizards in the Philippines ("Pandan Biawak"), 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 (Butaan) was discovered in 1845 and not seen alive by a scientist until the late 1970s. The next species (Mabitang) was discovered in 2001. Other species remain undescribed, and some may have gone extinct without ever having been recognised.

 

 

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