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Crocodile monitor

Varanus salvadorii
Status: Threatened
Crocodile monitor at the Oregon Zoo

The life of a crocodile monitor

Crocodile monitors live in the swamps and lowland forests on the island of New Guinea and its surrounding islands. At up to 9 feet in length, they’re one of the longest lizard species in the world. Their tails can be twice the length of their bodies, and they use these long tails for stability while climbing trees.

Crocodile monitors are carnivores and scavengers, feeding mostly on small mammals, eggs, carrion and fish using their sharp serrated teeth. They’re excellent climbers and swimmers, so they can hunt for food in trees or rivers. Because they live in densely forested areas, people are still learning about this mysterious reptile.

Crocodile monitor conservation

In the wild, crocodile monitors are threatened by hunting, habitat loss and human encroachment. They’re also at risk from the illegal pet trade.

How you can help crocodile monitors

Tourists may unknowingly participate in the illegal wildlife trade when they purchase souvenirs or gifts. Before travelling abroad, consult the Buyer Beware guide.