Varanus bangonorum

Bangon monitor  

DISTRIBUTIONPhilippines (for detailed distribution data, see Auliya & Koch 2020)

RED LIST STATUS: Least Concern (LC) in 2021

CITES: Appendix II

NATIONAL PROTECTION: Under the Republic Act No. 9147 of the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act of 2001; listed in Cat. D “Other Threatened Species” in Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources – Administrative Order 2019-09

THREATS: The species is locally exploited for consumption, in the north of Mindoro Island considered a threat to poultry (due to increasing anthropogenic load in its habitats) hunted with various types of traps (for detailed data, see Zdunek & Webb 2023), nationally/internationally for the pet industry; this impact is not well understood.

RESEARCH NEEDS: Delineation of the geographical range of V. bangonorum considering the proximity of some Western Visayan Isl. like Masbate, Ticao, and Burias in using genomics methods to characterize admixture, to determine if historical gene flow has occurred, and to ascertain whether any gene flow is ongoing among these named taxa would be very informative and important for conservation planning, especially considering the volatile, and ever changing nature of the pet and bushmeat trade.

Despite it’s Red List Status “LC” there is no information on the population trend of V. bangonorum; this uncertainty together with exploitation levels and their potential as a threat to the species/populations require indepth-research.

Awareness conservation programs and workshops need to be set up, where local communities become widely aware of monitor lizards and their usefulness in the ecosystem and the consequences of further biodiversity loss for this and the next generation(s). This would not only gradually raise awareness and eventually instil pride in possessiveness and protectiveness towards these lizards instead of exploiting them, but the local knowledge could also serve as a valuable resource and contribution to further research projects.

CURRENT PROJECTS: Currently not known.

References referred to:

Zdunek P, Webb MS (2023) Observation records of the Bangon Monitor Lizard, Varanus bangonorum (Squamata, Varanidae), with emphasis on behaviour and local threats, from the Municipality of Abra de Ilog, Occidental Mindoro, Philippines. Herpetozoa 36: 1–8. DOI 10.3897/herpetozoa.36.e96841.

Subadult Varanus bangonorum, Mindoro Island, Philippines; © Przemysław Zdunek & Michaela S. Webb

Subadult Varanus bangonorum, Mindoro Island, Philippines; © Przemysław Zdunek & Michaela S. Webb

Adult Varanus bangonorum, Mindoro Island, Philippines; © Przemysław Zdunek & Michaela S. Webb