Das Ziel dieser bemerkenswerten Arbeit bestand darin, Daten über das Vorkommen und die Populationsstärken der drei Großreptilien Südostasiens zu gewinnen, die auch wirtschaftlich intensiv genutzt werden: der Bindenwaran (Varanus salvator), der Blutpython (Python curtus) sowie der Netzpython (Python reticulatus).
Der Autor M. A. Auliya gewann nicht nur zahlreiche neue Erkenntnisse zu Lebensweise, Verbreitung und Systematik dieser Gruppen, er erfasste auch die Begleitfauna und -flora, von anderen Reptilien über Amphibien, Vögel und Säuger, sodass dieses prächtig bebilderte Buch auch einen umfassenden Überblick über die Natur dieser Region bietet.
The aim of this work was to gather data on abundance and densities of the three giant reptile species of South East Asia which are playing a major role in the international trade of reptile skin, viz. the Water Monitor (Varanus salvator), the Blood Python (Python curtus), and the Reticulated Python (Python reticulatus). Nothing was known about the actual densities of these three species and Mark Auliya spent one whole year in one of two study areas selected in the interior of West Kalimantan, Indonesia. His task was extremely difficult: He had to solve innumerable logistic problems, he had to design traps for the unusually large study objects, and finally, he had to establish good contacts to the network of reptile skin dealers in order to gather sufficient data on numbers, size classes etc. of the harvested monitor lizards and pythons.
But that was not all. With admirable energy, he surveyed most of the biodiversity that existed in the habitats of the pythons and monitors. Not only was the remaining herpetofauna surveyed – including fascinating new discoveries -, but also mammals, birds, even some arthropod groups and part of the vegetation. Mark Auliya accumulated a huge amount of knowledge and experience which is truly exceptional for a young zoologist. And it is this amount of information included in this thesis and consequently also in the book that makes it such a useful source for anyone interested in the fauna and flora of Indonesia.
In summary, the book is a masterpiece on biodiversity and conservation research since it reveals the first reliable data as to what amount of exploitation the populations of the three giant reptile species in their Bornean habitats may or may not withstand.
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