Photo credit: Tim Laman
The Panay Monitor Lizard, Varanus mabitang, is listed as ‘ENDANGERED’ on the IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM. This recently described monitor lizard is endemic to the island of Panay in the Philippines. A highly arboreal and specialized frugivore, it is generally associated with large trees in primary tropical moist forest.
Given that only 12 individuals have been caught since 2002, the Panay Monitor Lizard appears to be naturally very rare. Furthermore, its forest habitat is under significant threat from the conversion of land for agricultural use and logging operations. In addition to the threat of habitat loss, this lizard is a favourite food animal, and overhunting represents a serious concern.
Fortunately, several non-governmental organizations are conducting ongoing projects on Panay to conserve remaining areas of suitable habitat, and to research the biology and habitat requirements of the Panay Monitor Lizard. It is also listed on Appendix II of CITES, which prohibits all international trade without a permit, and is present in the Central Panay and North-west Panay protected areas.
To learn more about the Panay Monitor Lizard, click here. Or visit the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ by clicking their logo below.
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