The British Herpetological Society

The Herpetological Journal is the Society's prestigious quarterly scientific journal. Articles are listed in Biological Abstracts, Current Awareness in Biological Sciences,Current Contents, Science Citation Index, and Zoological Record.

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pdf 05. Distribution and conservation of the Komodo monitor (Varanus komodoensis)

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Open Access

pp.99-107

Authors: Claudio Ciofi And Muriel E. De Boer

Abstract: Information on population size and distribution of the Komodo monitor (Varanus komodoensis) has so far been restricted to early reports or to surveys conducted on only part of the species' range. We carried out a study based on transects through sampling plots and single-catch trapping events to assess the extent to which the distribution of V. komodoensis has changed since the last comprehensive survey was conducted, in 1 971. We also report on the status of the habitat and identify conservation priorities. Resident Komodo monitor populations are now found on only four islands in Komodo National Park and on the island of Flores in south-east Indonesia. Average population density estimates recorded on Flores were more than 60% lower than those reported for Komodo National Park. Habitat fragmentation and poaching of prey species currently represent the main threats to the Komodo monitor, and protection of monsoon forest in west and north Flores is crucial for the long-term conservation of the species.

Keywords: geographical distribution, lizard conservation, population density estimates, Varanid

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