DENR National Capital Region, through its South Field Office (SFO), retrieved a Marbled Water Monitor Lizard (Varanus marmoratus) from BF Homes in Paranaque City on Friday, 07 August 2020.
The reptile, known more commonly as Philippine water monitor lizard or "bayawak" in the vernacular, was captured by a resident in front of their garage. He immediately sought the help of the authorities for its safe retrieval and transfer to the Wildlife Rescue Center in Quezon City.
This type of lizard, considered the second largest in the world, is endemic to the Philippines. It is listed as “vulnerable” under DENR Administrative Order No. 2004-15, along with three other monitor lizards, i.e., Varanus olivaceous, Varanus Salvator cumingi, and Varanus salvator nuchalis.
Section 28 of Republic Act No. 9147 or Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act of 2001 penalizes the killing or destroying “vulnerable” wildlife species with imprisonment of 2 to 4 years and/or a fine of PhP30,000.00 to PhP300,000.00. Inflicting injury to vulnerable species on the other hand is meted out with a penalty of 1 to 2 years imprisonment and/or a fine of PhP20,000.00 to PhP200,000.00.
(Thanks to Mr. Emerson Y. Sy, wildlife researcher, for the identification of the reptile).