Varanus mabitang

Panay monitor  

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

RED LIST STATUS: Endangered (EN) in 2021

CITES: Appendix II

NATIONAL PROTECTION: Under the Republic Act No. 9147 of the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act of 2001

THREATS: Deforestation and fragmentation of lowland forests and consequent conversion to agricultural land pose the greatest threat to this forest species. Continued illegal logging or slash-and-burn of these forest habitats will accelerate the extinction of this species.
Local (illegal) consumption of the species is also a threat to its population; precisely because of its rarity, each removal of an individual as “bushmeat” represents a threat to a population.

RESEARCH NEEDS: Increasing knowledge of additional confirmed localities of the species remains an essential element in implementing appropriate conservation programmes. The collaboration with local communities is essential, as well as their involvement in outreach and education for the protection of their national biodiversity. It is therefore also imperative that the protection of exposed regions is enforced and implemented. The protection of existing forest patches is a priority, hence remaining forest areas where the species has been recorded from ned to be protected. Information and education campaigns in various target groups in the region are also essential for V. mabitang, as well as continuing and expanding the protective measures that have already been introduced.

CURRENT PROJECTS: Protection of forest habitat (from which the species still needs to be rcorded from), and habitat restoration (Red List Assessment).

Adult male Varanus mabitang, Panay Island © Maren Gaulke

Adult male Varanus mabitang, Panay Island © Maren Gaulke