This is the only Varanus Zugorum which was not observed during fieldwork. It appears to be almost completely unknown by locals, and only two reasonably reliable local eyewitness accounts were collected, in Akesahu (lower western side of Kao Bay) and Labi Labi (northeast Halmahera). Searches and interviews around the type locality Pasir Putih were unproductive. The holotype was collected in December 1980 by a villager, so further details from the initial discovery remain unknown (Adam Messer, pers. comm. 2008).
Monitor communities and niche segregation by sympatric Varanus Zugorum have been studied by several workers, including Pianka (1994), Shine (1986), Sweet (1999, 2007) and Philipp (1999). Communities range from simple one species systems up to as many as 11 species in certain areas of northern Australia (Sweet, 2007).
different body sizes, and foraging mode. Additionally, phylogenetic distance may aid in reducing niche overlap
in the most diverse communities of Australia and New Guinea.
A community comparable to the one on Halmahera, though slightly less diverse, was studied by Philipp
(1999) in West Papua. He investigated the habitat use of three closely related species of the indicus-group (V.
doreanus, V. indicus and V. jobiensis), and concluded that competition and interaction is largely avoided by
the use of different habitats and/or microhabitats.
This study found that on Halmahera and Obi, V. rainerguentheri is similar in habitat use to that of V. indicus on New Guinea (Philipp, 1999), while V. caerulivirens appears to fill a similar niche to that of V. jobiensis. Varanus yuwonoi overlaps widely in habitat use with V. caerulivirens but grows significantly larger, may use a different hunting strategy, and concentrate on larger prey items. Thus there seem to be clear niche separations in communities of V. indicus group animals in Moluccan multi-species communities as well. The ecological separation where members of Euprepiosaurus and V. salvator overlap is not equally obvious.