International Trade in the Blue Tree Monitor Lizard Varanus macraei.
Biawak, 9(2), pp. 50-57
© 2015 by International Varanid Interest Group
Using Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) trade statistics derived from the CITES Trade Database (UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Cambridge, UK), published literature and anecdotal information from the internet, the wildlife trade in Varanus macraei is described. The lizard is a high value pet commodity and although it is traded in relatively small numbers, virtually all trade appears to be of animals harvested directly from the wild population on Batanta Island, Indonesia. Export data suggests an extraction rate of over 6.6 individuals per km² over a decade, with a total value of between US $1-2 million. Trade to some countries including Russia, Taiwan and Ukraine is underestimated or omitted by import data. Overall trade in the species is increasing and prices have remained high despite captive breeding events in Europe and the United States, with captive bred animals representing less than 1% of worldwide trade.