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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
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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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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