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Varanus baritji Print E-mail
White's dwarf goanna
White's goanna

Extract from A Little Book of Monitor Lizards © D. Bennett 1995. Viper Press, UK

Varanus baritji King & Horner 1987

White's Goanna (baritji is an aboriginal word for white and the lizard is named after its discoverer Dr Neville White) is a small spiny-tailed monitor known at present only from the extreme north of the Northern Territory. It can be distinguished from V.acanthurus only on the basis of its pattern and colour. V.baritji lacks the light ocellated markings on the back associated with V.acanthurus and also lacks the light and dark dorsal neck stripes. V.baritji has a bright yellow underside. Like V.acanthurus it favours areas of rocky outcrops and has been collected under both limestone and granite. A specimen caught in early June laid three eggs in captivity. Maximum known length is 72cm TL (25cm SVL) (King & Horner 1987). According to Thissen (1992) Swanson's (1976) picture of V.acanthurus is actually V.baritji.

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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 - Conservation

polillomap1.jpgThe dark green patch at center left in this unmanipulated Google Earth image is the last remaining fragment of unlogged lowland dipterocarp forest on Polillo Island, and our main study site for the last 11 years. Less than one square mile in size (220ha) and less than 100m above sea level, the Sibulan Watershed Reserve has lost much of its secondary boundary forest over the last six years through illegal and uncontrolled agricultural activities. 

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