Nile Monitor

Page history last edited by Mariella Dorr 4 years, 8 months ago




Nile Monitor Lizard

 Varanus niloticus



This project is intended to educate ourselves and others about invasive exotic pets and solutions to the increasing problem.



To learn how unwanted invasive species can cause problems in Florida ecosystems. Students will learn the meaning of biodiversity and how to distinguish the difference between a non-native and an invasive species.



  • Zaniya
  • Doug
  • Jade 



  • Kickoff: Thursday, September 24, 2009
  • Research: Thursdays: Oct. 1, Oct. 8, Oct. 15,  
  • Animation or Digital Story begin:  Oct. 22
  • Storyboarding and scene production: Oct. 29, Nov. 5, Nov. 12, Nov. 19
  • Animation production or Digital story production: Dec. 3, Dec. 10 and Dec. 17 
  • Hollywood Premier: Dec. 17th view in Multipurpose - AIR IN WLMN news after Winter Break
  • Celebration: Dec. 18 - Possible critter encounter


Inquiries- I wonder questions that need solving:



Is a Nile Monitor Lizard the same thing as a KOMODO DRAGON? MMMMMMMmmmm! I wonder??? LEGGO team: Look for evidence to prove if this is a fact or if there is another explanation:

Ok Scientist Team.....this question was one I was very curious about: I found some information from wikipedia. This is information that other people have put on a wiki like this one. Hopefully you can help me verify if this is correct evidence.

Nile monitors have adapted to Florida because they are excellent climbers and quick runners on flat lands such as grasslands.  Nile Monitors feed on fish, snails, frogs, crocodile eggs and young, snakes, birds, small mammals, large insects, and carrion. There is plenty for them to eat here and they have few predators.


They also have many close cousins with a scientific name that begins with the same group: Varanus. A Komodo dragon has a scientific name by Varanus komodoensis. The beaded lizard and even the Gila monster are distant relatives! They have other cousins such as:

Spiny-tailed monitor  · Rock monitor  · Black tree monitor  · Bengal monitor  · Short-tailed monitor  · Savannah monitor  · Yellow Monitor  · Perentie  · Sand goanna  · Desert Monitor  · Gray's monitor  · Argus monitor  · Emerald tree monitor  · Crocodile monitor  · Water monitor  · Mangrove monitor  · Timor tree monitor  · Lace monitor


  • Explain if your species is a native or non-native species. Find out if it is invasive and tell a few clues that tell you that this species is invasive.

(Doug) Non-native species. The Nile Monitor is invasive because their population is growing fast.  No natural predator so they can populate as fast as possible.    





  • Where does your species come from? How did it get here? Great job Zaniya! Can you help me understand more about your species? Where in Africa? How are humans guilty of this monster looking species being here? What kind of habitat does it like? What kind of weather?  (Zaniya) it is from Africa and got here by the pet tade http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nile_monitor




  • What does invasive mean? How is it different than being just non-native? (Doug) Doug, I am proud to know that you have been working on some serious information. I love animals and have such mixed emotions to learn that an invasive animal can hurt so many. The nile monitor even looks a little scary, but I am sure it is not fair for this species either. How can we prevent from hurting entire ecosystems in Florida? How has this species adapted to our Florida habitat? I wonder? Perhaps you and Zaniya can think about it in class tomorrow. GOOD start!



Plants, animals, and microbes not native to a region which, when introduced either accidentally or intentionally, out-compete native species for available resources, reproduce prolifically, and dominate regions and ecosystems. Because they often arrive in new areas unaccompanied by their native predators, invasive species can be difficult to control. Left unchecked, many invasives have the potential to transform entire ecosystems, as native species and those that depend on them for food, shelter, and habitat, disappear.



A plant or animal species found outside its natural range. 



The monitor lizard is such an amazing  animal it can count to six! They are amazingly smart!!!! WOW! They are also called lizard kings. The monitor lizard survived when the dinosaurs went extinct!


Sometimes they will even hunt their own kin. They ambush their prey so they don't have to run after their prey and burn up to much energy.

A good meal can last them up to two weeks. They can't chew so they have to swallow there prey whole. The komodo dragon is a type of monitor lizard. All monitor lizards can swim, run, dig and climb.


(Doug) Traps are being set to try to move the monitor to safe location. The Nile Monitor has found food and have been known to take family pets.



  • How does your species affect our Florida habitats? What Florida animals is this species hurting or affecting?(Jade)




  • What can humans do to fix the problem? (start typing here) - All of you should come up with
  • at least one idea for a total of four ideas.

1. Doug - traps can be set to capture and relocate animals. A law can make people take their pet lizards back to the pet store if they do not want them anymore.






Resources and Safe Websites



A Nile monitor lizard, estimated to be 2 or 3 years old, sits in a trap at the Cape Coral Public Works building.

A Nile monitor lizard, estimated to be 2 or 3 years old, sits in a trap at the Cape Coral Public Works building. Tampa Bay News.com


Burrowing owl
Nile monitors have already invaded the habitat of the largest burrowing owl population in Florida. (Jessie Cohen/NZP)


WOW!Very large don't you think?

P1010175.jpg image by wlpitbull


Hatchling Monitor Lizard. Can you imagine this pet to get bigger than a medium sized dog?



Comments (2)

Mariella Dorr said

at 6:59 pm on Oct 21, 2009

Animal Planet has this great resource. Try this site:

parents said

at 10:29 pm on May 6, 2010

GREAT WORK Nile Monitor experts!!!!!

William's Dad

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