Shine, R., P. S. Harlow, et al. 1996. The biology of water monitors Varanus salvator in southern Sumatra. Biological Conservation 77(2-3): 125-134.
Asia; Lacertilia; leather; reproduction; skinning; sustainable use; Varanidae; wildlife, lizards; reproduction; Sumatra
The Asian water monitor Varanus salvator is the second-largest lizard species in the world (to > 1 m SVL, 2 . 5 m total, 20 kg), and is heavily exploited (> 1 million skins per annum). In the course of three trips between August 1993 and April 1995, we gathered information on 166 water monitors captured in southern Sumatra for the commercial skin trade. Relatively equal numbers of males and females were captured but the males were almost all adults whereas half of the females were juveniles. Sex ratios and body sizes did not vary significantly among the three trips. Males grow larger than females, but the largest animals are not used in the leather trade. Males mature at around 40 cm SVL (= 1 m total, 1 kg), and females at around 50 cm. Maturation thus occurs at a small proportion of maximum size, as is typical for large species of reptiles. Adult males ave more heavy-bodied than females, and have longer tails, but fat stores did not differ between the sexes. Prey items inclu