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Save Your Monitor Lizards! Print E-mail

Save Your Monitors!
Monitor lizards are heavily exploited for their meat and leather and for the international wildlife trade. There have been very few investigations into the ecology and conservation status of monitor lizards, and, as far as I am aware, no funds from the trade in monitor lizards has ever been used to fund  research.


This project aims to improve this situation in the following way.
1.     People who keep monitor lizards donate their dead animals to a national Save Your Monitors  group.
2.     Members of the national group make products from the dead monitor lizards (e.g. leather goods, skeletal preparations) and sell them on ebay
3.     The profits generated are distributed as small grants to students in countries where monitor lizards live, allowing them to make basic investigations into local monitor lizard populations.


If the project worked it might a) generate indirect funding of monitor lizard research from the monitor lizard trade b) generate the first captive bred monitor lizard products ever available.


The project will require i) People with facilities to receive and process donated animals in different countries, ii) people who are able to make desirable objects from the donated animals in different countries, iii) a team that can solicit, advertise and screen applications for funding.
Anybody with relevant skills who is interested in the project please get in touch.

 

 
 

 

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Practical Conservation for Neglected Species
We work with endangered and neglected people, wildlife and habitats, finding practical solutions to serious problems. 

 
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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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