ISLAMABAD-Islamabad Wildlife Management Board team spotted a Bengal monitor lizard at Trail-6 of Margalla Hills National Park which indicates healthy ecosystem and not a risk to human beings.

The IWMB Assistant Director Sakhawat Ali said, “This is the largest lizard existing in the country known as Bengal monitor lizard. It belongs to Varanidae family whose only 3 species are found in the country where only Bengal monitor lizard existed in MHNP.”

The free roaming of wildlife in its natural habitat had become possible after strict patrolling and control over poaching in the national park, he added.

“Bengal monitors usually hibernate in winter season and show up in summers as insect and population is increased in the prevailing period. However, green pheasants have also laid eggs and Bengal monitor eats its eggs so the presence of this lizard goes common in September till October,” Sakhawat said.

“They (wildlife) control ecosystem and maintain balance in the food chain whereas Bengal monitor has its own role in this regard. This movement poses no threat to humans but indicates a healthy environment,” the IWMB assistant director mentioned.

To a question, he said, “The MHNP have almost 32 species of reptiles according to literature including 13 species of lizard, 2 species of freshwater turtle and 17 species of snakes.”

He said that out of the 17 species of snakes, only 5 were venomous: Common Krait, Black Cobra, Brown Cobra, Saw-Scaled Viper and Russell’s viper.

The Bengal monitor or common Indian monitor is a monitor lizard found widely distributed over Indian sub-continent as well as parts of Southeast Asia and West Asia. “This large lizard is mainly terrestrial and its length can range from about 61 centimetre to 175 cm from the tip of the snout to the end of the tail,” he added.