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Varanus olivaceus

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
ANIMALIA CHORDATA REPTILIA SQUAMATA VARANIDAE

Scientific Name: Varanus olivaceus
Species Authority: Hallowell, 1859
Common Name(s):
English Gray's Monitor, Gray's Monitor Lizard
French Varan De Gray
Synonym(s):
Varanus grayi Boulenger, 1885
Varanus olivaceus Hallowell, 1857
Varanus ornatus Gray, 1845
Taxonomic Notes: There is a need to review the taxonomic status of animals from the Northern Sierra Madre of Luzon currently allocated to Varanus olivaceus.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Vulnerable A2d; B1ab(i,ii,iii)+2ab(i,ii,iii) ver 3.1
Year Published: 2009
Date Assessed: 2007-04-22
Assessor(s): Sy, E., Afuang, L., Duya, M.R. & Diesmos, M.
Reviewer(s): Cox, N. & Hoffmann, M. (Global Reptile Assessment Coordinating Team)
Justification:
Listed as Vulnerable, in view of its extent of occurrence of less than 20,000 km² and area of occupancy of less than 2,000 km² (excluding provisionally assigned populations from northern Luzon), with a severely fragmented habitat. There is a continuing decline of individuals, resulting from heavy hunting pressure, believed to be greater than 30% over a ten year period.
History:
1996 Vulnerable
1994 Rare (Groombridge 1994)
1990 Rare (IUCN 1990)
1988 Rare (IUCN Conservation Monitoring Centre 1988)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is endemic to the Philippines, where it is knonw only from southern Luzon, Catanduanes and Pollilio. Animals collected during recent surveys from the Northern Sierra Madre Range of Luzon may be allocated to this species, but it is possible that they may represent a distinct species and further taxonomic studies are needed to resolve this issue (E.L. Rico, M.R. Duya, D. Bennett, A. Diesmos and R. Brown pers. comm. 2007). It is a lowland species ranging from around sea level to 400 m asl.
Countries:
Native:
Philippines
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It appears to be moderately common within its limited range (Bennet 1995). Animals possibly allocated to this species, appear to be moderately common in the Northern Sierra Madre Range.
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This arboreal species has been recorded from both primary and secondary tropical moist forests, often with rocky outcrops or cliffs (Bennet 1995). Juvenile animals have a diet of snails or crabs, but animals change to a largely frugivorous diet as they mature (Bennet 1995). Little is known about reproduction in this species.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, through conversion of land to agricultural use and logging operations. It is also threatened by hunting for food by local people and collection for the pet trade (hatchlings and juveniles are targeted for the international market).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species is present within the Sibulan Protected Watershed on Polillo, and has been recorded from other protected areas within its range. A research programme is in place for the population of this species on Polillo Island (the Polillo Butaan Project). Further taxonomic studies are needed for animals recorded from the Northern Sierra Madre on Luzon. This species is listed on Appendix II of CITES.

Citation: Sy, E., Afuang, L., Duya, M.R. & Diesmos, M. 2009. Varanus olivaceus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 30 July 2014.
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