Monitor Lizard Breeding and Research

To breed and study monitor lizards in Germany


Although monitor lizards (Varanus spp.) are the world's largest lizard species, new species are discovered regularly. Knowledge about the natural history of many of these species is still limited and only few species are kept in zoos and successfully breed.


With the breeding of barely known monitor lizard species we want to improve the knowledge about the natural history of these species and build up a stock for a future zoo population. By publishing breeding reports within the zoo world and in zoological journals, we want to provide data for other institutions to reach breeding goals on a worldwide scale. Currently, we focus on the species V. macraei, V. melinus and V. spenceri. Adults at Cologne Zoo were mainly derived from confiscations or received as offspring.


WAZA Conservation Project 09018 is implemented by Cologne Zoo. A first cooperation exists with Plzen Zoo (for the species V. macraei). Universities in Bonn and Cologne are involved in scientific aspects of the project.




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