Common Water Monitor – Varanus salvator
This species has a wide distribution, can be found in various habitats, and adapts to habitats disturbed by humans. It is still abundant in parts of its range, despite high levels of harvesting. Continuous and significant offtake levels over several decades may, however, have resulted in demographic changes the impacts of which on population viability are not understood. Significant taxonomic uncertainty still surrounds this species, and although this may not affect the extinction risk of Varanus salvator sensu stricto (which has a type locality on Sri Lanka, an area where subpopulations are at limited risk), this is of the utmost importance for identifying cryptic species which may be of more significant conservation concern. Subpopulations in Indochina and Myanmar are of particular concern and are likely to need at least local attention to control harvesting, as the lizard is exploited heavily throughout this area and is now often scarce, and declines are suspected or have been observed in much of this region. V. salvator does extend over an extensive geographic range and in some regions still is considered abundant and is consequently listed as globally Least Concern, but this species should be considered a conservation priority in areas where declines are ongoing or suspected and efforts are needed to determine the sustainability of high levels of offtake elsewhere in its range. Although the species is not at risk of global extinction at present, this status should be reviewed at regular intervals.