The greatest enemy of the desert monitor lizard has always been mankind. In the 1970s, desert monitors were hunted for their skins, which led to great declines in their population and to the placement of the animal on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species.
Since international legislation was written to prohibit the trade of this species, the greatest threat to the desert monitor lizard has become loss of habitat due to urban development and expansion of agriculture, resulting in the species becoming rare or extinct. For example, the conversion of sand or soft soil, which the monitors use for tracks, wreaks havoc on their ability to communicate and orient themselves. In remote parts of India and Pakistan, where the climate is not as favorable for humans, the animal is less endangered.
The monitor lizard is one of the most versatile animals on the planet. Not only can it thrive in a desert environment, but can also survive in forests or even wetlands. Their bodies are long and heavy, with a powerful tail to be used as a weapon. The species is divided into three sub-species, which are found in different geographical regions. The different sub-species can be identified through size, tail shape and the number of bands on its body. The Komodo dragon is the most well-known of the monitor lizards. These giants are considered apex predators, sitting high up on the food chain, and have little or no natural known predators.