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Varanus rosenbergi

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA REPTILIA SQUAMATA VARANIDAE

Scientific Name: Varanus rosenbergi
Species Authority: Mertens, 1957
Common Name(s):
English Heath Monitor, Southern Heath Monitor
Synonym(s):
Varanus gouldii subspecies rosenbergi Mertens, 1957
Taxonomic Notes: This species has a disjunct distribution and animals in eastern populations have much longer tails than those in western populations; this may imply that this species in fact comprises at least two different species (E. Pianka pers. comm.).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2009-06-30
Assessor(s): Bennett, D. & Sweet, S.S.
Reviewer(s): Böhm, M., Collen, B. & Ram, M. (Sampled Red List Index Coordinating Team)
Contributor(s): De Silva, R., Milligan, H.T., Wearn, O.R., Wren, S., Zamin, T., Sears, J., Wilson, P., Lewis, S., Lintott, P. & Powney, G.
Justification:
Varanus rosenbergi has been listed as Least Concern due to its wide distribution, in some parts of which it is said to be common. Currently, it is not likely to be under any major threat. However, further research and monitoring is needed as the minor threat of habitat degradation could cause a decline in the population in the future. This may have particularly serious effects on the conservation status of eastern populations, if these are recognised as a distinct species in the future.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is restricted to southern parts of Australia, below 30 degrees south latitude. It is found in coastal areas of Western Australia, South Australia and the southwest of Victoria (King and King 2004). There is also a disjunct distribution around the Sydney area, and in the vicinity of Canberra (Smith et al. 2007).
Countries:
Native:
Australia (Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is common in the central part of its range and on Kangaroo Island. It is considered stable in Western Australia, but is possibly declining in eastern isolates because of land-clearing activities (S. Sweet pers. comm.).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species can live in a variety of habitats, but occurs mainly in open woodlands, sclerophyll forest, and heathlands (King and King 2004).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Habitat degradation is likely to be locally affecting some of this species' range, particularly in eastern parts. While this is at present not considered a major threat, if eastern populations were found to be a separate species in the future, this may have a significant effect on their conservation status. It is unlikely that any other threat process is acting on this species, particularly since all Australian Varanids are banned from export (S. Sweet pers. comm.).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species has a level of protection in Australia through legislation, since all Australian varanids are banned from export (S. Sweet pers. comm.). Further research into the localized threats and habitat status is suggested to ensure localized population declines do not increase. As with many Varanid species, gene sequencing studies are needed to resolve whether this species is in fact a complex of two or more species (E. Pianka pers. comm.). This is particularly important since habitat loss may particularly affect the distinct eastern populations.

Citation: Bennett, D. & Sweet, S.S. 2010. Varanus rosenbergi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 21 September 2014.
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