Edhi volunteers find Monitor Lizard in Korangi, hand over to Karachi Zoo

Edhi volunteers find Monitor Lizard in Korangi, hand over to Karachi Zoo


KARACHI: Shopkeepers in Korangi No-3 area of Karachi panicked on Monday afternoon when they found a huge size lizard stuck inside the shutter of a
local shop.

The frightened shopkeepers called Edhi Foundation volunteers for the help. The Edhi volunteers rushed to the site and caught
the lizard.

"It was around 3 feet long Monitor Lizard and the people of the area wanted to kill it but we saved it and later handed over to the Karachi Zoological Garden [Karachi Zoo]," said Saeed Ahmed, Edhi volunteer.

Monitor Lizard is important specie of predators that is protected under Sindh
Wildlife laws.

Sindh Wildlife officials consider Monitor Lizard as important wildlife specie for ecosystem balance.

Monitor Lizard mostly eat mice, reptiles and insects which are harmful to the crops .

"It has importance in our ecosystem and we all have to protect it," said Adnan Hamid Khan, in-charge Marine Turtle Conservation Unit, Sindh Wildlife Department.

Talking to Daily Times, he said that handing over the lizard to the Karachi Zoological Garden is not a good sign and it should be released into the wild.

"It is wild animal and its habitat is in the wild, therefore, it must be released in the wild and it is not good to keep it in the captivity."

He said that the Sindh Wildlife department is the official custodian of the wildlife species and whenever common citizens find any wild animals in their homes or settlements, they must inform Sindh Wildlife Department.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of threatened species, most of the Monitor lizard species fall in the categories of least concern but the population is decreasing globally.

There are around five species of monitor lizards and these species are classified by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITIES) on Wild Fauna and Flora under Appendix II, which is loosely defined as species that are not necessarily threatened with extinction, but may become so unless trade in such species is subject to strict regulation order to avoid use incompatible with the survival of the species in the wild.

According to wildlife experts, there are least 46 species of Monitor lizards in Asia, Africa and Australasia.

Sindh Wildlife Department's official record reveals that with dorsum reddish brown body and tail barred with dark-edged reddish brown, this lizard of seasonally flooded forests, and marshy areas is found in flood plains of the Indus River and its tributaries.

It is found usually is Salt Range district Sialkot in northern Punjab, and in the River Indus
Delta in Thatta, district of Sindh.