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 mayor 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 speciesand Mark Auliya spent one whole year in one of two study areas selected in the interior of West Kalimantan, Indonesia. His task was extremly 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 contacs to the network of reptile skin dealers in order to gahter sufficient data on numbers, size classes etc. of the harvested monitor lizards and pythons.
But this was not all. With admirable energy, he surveyed most oft he entire biodiversity that existed in the habitats oft he pythons and monitors. Not only was the remaining herpetofauna surveyed – including fascinating new discoveries -, but also mammal, birds, even some arthropd groups and partof the vegetation. Mark Auliya accumulated a huge ammount of knowlegde and experience which is is truly exceptional among young zoologists. 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 of 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 withstand or not.