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End the wildlife trade in small island endemic monitor lizards Print E-mail

Some species of monitor lizard popular in the wildlife trade belong to species restricted to tiny islands in South East Asia. Very few of these animals ever reproduce in captivity and the actual trade vastly exceeds the declared trade. Virtually nothing is known of the population status or ecology of any of these species. Captive breeding of these species is restricted to very rare, isolated events.  Some of the species occur only on extremely small islands, and unlikely to occur in large numbers. Many people consider the pet trade to be a significant threat to the conservation of these species but, because they are virtually unstudied and levels of exploitation cannot be documented, very little hard evidence exists.

What can be done:
1. Put pressure on animal dealers not to stock small island endemic monitors that might have been taken from the wild.
2. Put pressure on animal keepers not to buy small island endemic monitors without unambiguous proof that they have not been taken from the wild.
3. Encourage research into the ecology and distribution of small island endemic monitors
4. Encourage international coordinated breeding attempts with priority species by competent individuals and institutions

Varanus macraei
Varanus obor
Varanus auffenbergi
Varanus reisingeri
Varanus kordensis
Varanus s. ziegleri??
Varanus boehmei
Varanus spinulosus
Varanus beccarii
Varanus melinus
Varanus cumingi samarensis
Varanus caeruliverens
Varanus rainerguentheri
Varanus yuwonoi
Varanus togianus

spinulosusjp88.jpg

 

 
 

 

About Mampam
Bye Bye Butaan

 butaan1.jpg

Butaan start to visit fruiting trees before they are large enough to swallow the fruits. They make repeat journeys to trees, perhaps to reinforce memory of the position of the tree. If the youngster survives it may continue to use this tree for many decades. Fruiting trees like this are a vital resource for entire populations of butaan. Learn more >


 
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The Butaan Project
The Butaan Project - Background and History
butaan2.jpgThe butaan was first described to science in 1845 from a juvenile specimen collected by Hugh Cuming. It was labelled only "Philippines". It was named Varanus grayi.  No other specimens came to light for over 120 years. In the 1970s Walter Auffenberg found another specimen with a location in Luzon, established that its correct scientific name was Varanus olivaceus, and undertook a 22 month study of the species based in Bicol. His study revealed that butaan occupy a unique ecological niche and have a lifestyle quite unlike any other monitor lizard. Auffenberg used local hunters with dogs to catch the animals. Of 126 butaan caught during his study, 116 animals were killed.
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