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Varanus telenestes Print E-mail
Rossel Island monitor

Varanus telenestes   Sprackland 1991

Brandenberg (1983) noted that the populations of emerald monitors (Varanus prasinus) on some islands off western New Guinea did not differ markedly from those on the mainland. However the isolated population on Rossel Island at the eastern tip of the Louisiade Archipelago were considered a new species by Sprackland (1990) and named Varanus telenesetes. It has a mottled rather than unpatterned underside and the enlarged scales on the soles of the feet are light rather than dark. Only a single specimen is known which measures 21.7cm SVL, 42.5cm TL. Nothing is known of its way of life.
 
 

 

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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
Monitoring Individuals 1

butaan1.jpgButaan are so shy they frequently remain in a tree for more than a week after being frightened. A large male we rescued from a trap hid in a tree for 22 days before coming down!* . Most lizards do not appear traumatised by being caught and released by scientists, and resume normal activity very quickly. But we think that butaan, especially older individuals, may permanently alter their activity areas after such an encounter. Because the animals are so shy, and highly vulnerable to human disturbance, we have had to develop a range of techniques that allow us to learn about them with the absolute minimum of interference.

 

 

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