The crocodile monitor, Varanus salvadorii, is one of the largest and most enigmatic lizards in the world, but virtually nothing is known about its natural history and ecology. Previous attempts to study the animals have not been successful, so although it is regularly seen in captivity it remains almost unknown in the wild. This study aims to demonstrate the feasibility of detailed studies of the ecology of crocodile monitors by employing high effort camera trapping in an area known to be occupied by the lizards. The project costs are minimised because field work will be conducted alongside an existing project at Variarata National Park, Papua New Guinea. During February 2020 we will set camera traps in places likely to be used by the lizards, which will be maintained by local rangers for at least a year. The success of the project depends on adequate camera trapping effort, and we need funding to buy camera traps. The preferred device for this project is the Reconyx Hyperfire 2 Covert IR, which costs about $450 in the UK. We hope to set 26 of these devices, which will allow almost 10,000 days of camera trapping over the year. Please considering sponsoring a camera, or part of a camera, to help us learn more about this extraordinary animal. Click here for more details of the project
Image courtesy of Andreas Iosifakis.