The Asian Water Monitor, Varanus salvator : An Introduction to its Non-Breeding Ethology


  • Anusua Pal Nature Mates-Nature Club. 6/7 Kolkata 700032, West Bengal.
  • Arijit Chatterjee Department of Environmental Science, Asutosh College. 92, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee Road, Kolkata 700026, West Bengal.


Focal Animal Sampling, Repertoire, Behavioural Pattern, Co-exist, Ethogram


The Asian Water Monitor (Varanus salvator) is a highly adaptable species that lives in close proximity to humans. The present study aims to construct an ethogram of V. salvator to obtain a complete record of its behaviours in its natural environment. This ethogram is constructed on the basis of all the exclusive behaviours (39) and behavioural categories (8) documented for 43 individuals from two study sites situated on the outskirts of Kolkata, India. The ethogram reveals that V. salvator devotes most of its time to foraging (84.63 minutes, 37.58%) and sluggish movements (50.73 minutes, 22.52%). This study also indicates the activity period of the species and its interaction with anthropogenic disturbances, interestingly showing very less temporal overlap with human activity. These results reflect an overall idea of the non-breeding behaviour of V. salvator and highlight the survival strategies of such opportunistic species amidst two highly congested areas.