Target: Bob Perciasepe, Administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency, and Juan Miguel Cuna, Director of the Philippine Environmental Management Bureau
Goal: Outlaw hunting and resource exploitation in the Bayawak Monitor Lizard’s habitat
The Varanus Bitatawa Butaan Monitor Lizard, also known as the Bayawak lizard, was discovered by scientists on the Philippine island of Luzon just four years ago. A hike in population on Luzon is jeopardizing the Bayawak habitat, and the lizard is already on the endangered species list. Nonetheless, indigenous peoples, such as the Agta and Llongot, hunt the Bayawak for food, and developers exploit the habitat’s lumber and mining resources.
It is believed that the reptiles, a relative of the Komodo Dragon, avoided discovery by outsiders for so long by spending much of their time in the trees. The lizard is unique in that it is a fruit-eater, or frugivore, where most Varanus Monitors are carnivores. It can grow to over six feet in length, yet weighs only 20 pounds.
It is essential that environmental degradation in Luzon be stopped in order to protect this unique species. Activities such as mining, logging, and hunting are pushing the Bayawak lizard closer to extinction. Ask the EPA and the Philippine Environmental Management Bureau to protect the Bayawak lizard’s habitat from hunting and resource exploitation by outlawing and monitoring these activities.
Dear Mr. Perciasepe and Mr. Cuzon,
The newly-discovered Bayawak Monitor Lizard is already at risk of extinction due to resource exploitation and hunting on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. The lizard was discovered just four years ago. It is a unique species, one of the only fruit-eating herbivorous monitor lizards, which are usually carnivorous. A relative of the beloved Komodo Dragon, it can grow to over six feet in length.
Unfortunately, activities like mining, logging, and hunting are destroying this species and its habitat. Please set legislation in place to save this species. Outlaw hunting of the Bayawak Monitor Lizard and prevent the destruction of its habitat by resource exploitation.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Michael Ransburg via Flickr