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Varanus boehmei

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA REPTILIA SQUAMATA VARANIDAE

Scientific Name: Varanus boehmei
Species Authority: Jacobs, 2003
Common Name(s):
English Golden Speckled Tree Monitor
Taxonomic Notes: This is a new species described in 2003. It is a distinct species within the Varanus prasinus species group (Ziegler et al. 2007).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient 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 boehmei has been assessed as Data Deficient. Its range is restricted to a single island with an estimated extent of occurrence of approximately 3,140 km², but its precise occurrence on this island is still a matter of uncertainty, as is its population status and much of its ecology. The species is of interest to the pet trade, although little trade has been observed in recent years. Since this is unlikely to be due to a reduction in demand, it is vital that investigations into the distribution and population status of this species are carried out urgently in order to facilitate an accurate conservation assessment in the future.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to the island of Waigeo in West Irian Jaya, Indonesia, where it is thought to be mainly found on the eastern part of the island near the coast (Jacobs 2003). Although there is no knowledge of a verified specimen or photograph, it may also inhabit West Waigeo (S. Sweet pers. comm.). However, a recent survey of the herpetofauna of Waigeo did not report this species (Hamidy and Mulyadi 2007). The total area of Waigeo Island is approximately 3,140 km².
Countries:
Native:
Indonesia (Maluku)
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: There is no population information available for this species.
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: The island of Waigeo is dominated by moist lowland forest. Therefore this species is likely to be a forest specialist. Being an island isolate derived from V. prasinus, it is likely to have a similar ecology, which would imply a largely arboreal lifestyle.
Systems: Terrestrial

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is collected for the pet trade, however, in recent years it has not been encountered much in the markets. Although it may be bred in captivity, well in excess of 90% of the animals in the trade are wild-caught (S. Sweet pers. comm.). Captive breeding seems more feasible than for most other monitors, and the high sale value acts to encourage continuing efforts by hobbyists (S. Sweet pers. comm.).


Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is threatened by collection for the pet trade, with around 90% of the animals in the trade being taken from the wild (S. Sweet pers. comm.). However, there appears to have been little trade in the species in recent years, but this is unlikely to be caused by a reduction in demand.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species is listed on CITES Appendix II. It is likely that parts of this species' distribution range coincide with protected areas. Given the species desirability in the pet trade, further research on the distribution and populations status of the species are urgently needed, as is research into potential harvest levels.

Citation: Bennett, D. & Sweet, S.S. 2010. Varanus boehmei. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 20 August 2014.
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