Dr. Mark Auliya

Biologist, MSc.
Post-doc Researcher



Department of Conservation Biology
Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research - UFZ
Permoserstr. 15
04318 Leipzig, Germany

Tel: 0341 235 1953
Fax: 0341 235 451270

Mark Auliya, 2016

Research focus

  • Herpetology, taxonomy, international species conservation (at the science-policy interface), identifying pragmatic solutions for the sustainable use in reptiles
  • Commercial skin trade of reptiles (pythons and monitor lizards) native to Southeast Asia
  • Analysis of the international reptile pet trade; issues and recommendations
  • Zoogeography, taxonomy, population ecology and genetics of Southeast Asian monitor lizards (Varanidae spp.) and pythons (Pythonidae spp.) and implications for their conservation


Current research project

Population genetics and their forensic applications to the reticulated python (Malayopython reticulatus ssp.) and the Burmese python (Python bivittatus ssp.) involved in the commercial skin trade in Southeast Asia


Former project at the UFZ

Projekt RACE (Risk Assessment of Chytridiomycosis to European amphibian diversity) at the science policy interface.


Additional ongoing and planned projects

  • Impacts of the international live reptile trade on wild populations (examples of CITES and non-CITES species)
  • Preparation of further reptile identification guides (selected species groups of the Southeast Asian and Melanesian realm; Pythonidae und Varanidae) for varying authorities, conservation agencies, scientists, etc.
  • Population genetics and their forensic applications of the water monitor lizard (Varanus salvator spp.) involved in the commecial skin trade in Southeast Asia


Memberships in IUCN Specialist Groups

  • IUCN SSC Crocodile Specialist Group (CSG)
  • IUCN SSC CSG - Tomistoma Task Force (working group on the Tomistoma crocodile)
  • IUCN SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group
  • IUCN SSC Sea Snake Specialist Group
  • IUCN SSC Boa & Python Specialist Group - Red List Authority Coordinator
  • IUCN SSC Monitor Lizard Specialist Group - Co-Chair   

Advisory functions

  • Consulant for reptile species conservation for authorities in Germany, Indonesia and Malaysia
  • Contributor to the IUCN Red List
  • Authority for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna (CITES) of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) – subject area: amphibians and reptiles
  • Scientific moderator in TV - wildlife conservation documentaries (Das Erste, ZDF, ARTE, NDR, SF1, National Geographic) 


Publications (Selection)

Books and chapters

  • Barker, D. G., M. A. Auliya, and T. M. Barker (2017) A Guide to the Identification of the Pythons of Indonesia, Papua-New Guinea, Philippines, and Continental Asia. Vida Preciosa Library, Boerne, Texas. In Press.
  • Auliya M (2017) Gesetzeslücken und wissenschaftliche Unsicherheiten gefährden Warane ["Legislative loopholes and scientific uncertainties threaten monitor lizards"]. pp. 67-91. In: Der Handel mit exotischen Reptiien in Deutschland am Beispiel der Warane (Familie Varanidae) [Trade with exotic reptiles in Germany, exemplified by the monitor lizards (Varanidae)" (Hrsg.) Schepp U, Kuich-van Endert S, Martens H.; Naturschutz und Biologische Vielfalt, Heft 159, Bundesamt f. Naturschutz, Bonn - Bad Godesberg, 182 S.
  • Gutt J, Auliya M (2016) Was versteht man unter Biodiversität und wie wird sie erfasst? [What is biodiversity and how is it recorded?] pp. 17-25. In: Warnsignal Klima - Die Biodiversiät - Unter Berücksichtigung von Habitatveränderung, Umweltverschmutzung und Globalisierung ; Hrsg: Lozán JL, Breckle S-W, Müller R, Rachor E.; Publ., Wissenschaftliche Auswertungen, Hamburg, 353 pp.
  • Auliya M (2011) CITES (Washingtoner Artenschutzübereinkommen) - Fakten und Herausforderungen sowie mögliche Schnittstellen zur CBD. 61-70. IN: Das Übereinkommen über die Biologische Vielfalt (CBD) – ein Einstieg für Wissenschaftler – Vorträge und Ergebnisse der CBD-Akademien 2010 in Wiesenfelden (eds.) Paulsch, A & Paulsch C., Ibn Schriftenreihe Bd 01, Institut für Biodiversität – Netzwerk e. V., Regensburg, 156 S. [CITES, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna - facts, challenges and potential interfaces]
  • Auliya M (2008) Introduction aux Pythonidés. pp. 144-147 In: Pauwels OSG, Vande Wegde JP (eds.). Reptiles du Gabon. Smithsonian Institution, 272 pp. [Introduction to pythons]
  • Auliya M (2007) An Identification Guide to the Tortoises and Freshwater Turtles of Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore and Timor Leste. TRAFFIC Southeast Asia, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.
  • Bellosa H, Dirksen L, Auliya M (2007) Faszination Riesenschlangen. – BLV Verlag, München, 160 pp. [Fascinating giant snakes]
  • Auliya M (2006) Taxonomy, Life History and Conservation of Giant Reptiles in West Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo). ntv-Verlag, Münster, 432 pp.


Reports and workshop documents
  • Auliya M (2011) Background documents of the CITES Asian Snake Trade Workshop in Guangzhou, China – April 11-14, 2011
    (http://www.cites.org/eng/com/ac/25/Snake/trade.html)
  • Kanari K, Auliya M (2011) The reptile pet trade of Japan. TRAFFIC East Asia, Tokio, Japan. Internal Report
  • Auliya M (2010) Exploited for the international fashion industry: The trade in the Reticulated Python Python reticulatus in Peninsular Malaysia. TRAFFIC Southeast Asia, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. Internal Report
  • Auliya M (2009) Conservation Status and Impact of trade on the Oriental Rat Snake Ptyas mucosa in Java, Indonesia. TRAFFIC Report, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. http://www.trafficj.org/publication/10_Conservation_Rat_Snake.pdf
  • Auliya M, Shwedick B, Sommerlad R, Brend S, Samedi (2006) A short-term assessment of the conservation status of Tomistoma schlegelii (Crocodylia: Crocodylidae) in Tanjung Puting National Park (Central Kalimantan, Indonesia). A cooperative survey by the Orangutan Foundation (UK) and the Tomistoma Task Force, of the IUCN/SSC Crocodile Specialist Group, 36 pp. http://tomistoma.org/pa_contents/free_downloads/Tomistoma2005_survey.pdf
  • Auliya M (2003) Hot Trade in Cool Creatures – A review of the live reptile trade in the European Union in the 1990s with a focus on Germany. TRAFFIC Europe, Brussels, Belgium, 112 pp. www.traffic.org/species-reports/traffic_species_reptiles2.pdf
Selection of peer-reviewed papers
  • Murray-Dickson G, Ghazali M, Ogden R, Brown R, Auliya M (2017) Phylogeography of the reticulated python (Malayopython reticulatus ssp.): Conservation implications for the worlds’ most traded snake species. PLoS ONE 12(8): e0182049. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0182049
  • Auliya M., García-Moreno J., Schmidt B.R., Schmeller D.S., Hoogmoed M.S., Fisher M.C., Pasmans F., Henle K., Bickford D., Martel A. (2016) The global amphibian trade flows through Europe: the need for enforcing and improving legislation. Biodivers. Conserv. 25, 2581-2595. DOI 10.1007/s10531-016-1193-8
  • Dislich C., Keyel A.C., Salecker J., Kisel Y., Meyer, K.M., Auliya M., Barnes A.D., Corre M.D., Darras K., Faust H., Hess B., Klasen S., Knohl A., Kreft H., Meijide A., Nurdiansyah1 F., Otten F., Pe’er G., Steinebach S., Tarigan S., Tölle M.H., Tscharntke T., Wiegand K. (2016) A review of the ecosystem functions in oil palm plantations, using forests as a reference system. Biol. Rev. doi: 10.1111/brv.12295
  • Auliya M., Altherr, S., Ariano-Sanchez D., Baard E.H., Brown C., Brown R.M., Cantu J.-C., Gentile G., Gildenhuys P., Henningheim E., Hintzmann J., Kanari K., Krvavac M., Lettink M., Lippert J., Luiselli L., Nilson G., Nguyen T.Q., Nijman V., Parham J.F., Pasachnik S.A., Pedrono M., Rauhaus A., Córdoba D.R., Sanchez M.-E., Schepp U., Schingen van M., Schneeweiss N., Segniagbeto G.H., Somaweera R., Sy E.Y., Türkozan O., Vinke S., Vinke T., Vyas R., Williamson S., Ziegler T. (2016) Trade in live reptiles, its impact on wild populations, and the role of the European market. Biol. Cons. 204, 103-119. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2016.05.017
  • Auliya M., van Dijk, P.P., Moll, E.O., and Meylan, P.A. 2016. Amyda cartilaginea (Boddaert 1770) – Asiatic Softshell Turtle, Southeast Asian Softshell Turtle. In: Rhodin, A.G.J., Pritchard, P.C.H., van Dijk, P.P., Saumure, R.A., Buhlmann, K.A., Iverson, J.B., and Mittermeier, R.A. (Eds.). Conservation Biology of Freshwater Turtles and Tortoises: A Compilation Project of the IUCN/SSC Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group. Chelonian Research Monographs 5(9):092.1–17, doi:10.3854/crm.5.092.cartilaginea.v1.2016, http://www.iucn-tftsg.org/cbftt/
  • Rhodin, A.G.J., H. Kaiser, P.P. van Dijk, W. Wüster, M. O’Shea, M. Archer, M. Auliya, L. Boitani, R. Bour, V. Clausnitzer, T. Contreras-MacBeath, B.I. Crother, J.M. Daza, C.A. Driscoll, O. Flores-Villela, J. Frazier, U. Fritz, A. Gardner, C. Gascon, A. Georges, F. Glaw, F.G. Grazziotin, C.P. Groves, G. Haszprunar, P. Havaš, J.M. Hero, M. Hoffmann, M.S. Hoogmoed, B.D. Horne, J.B. Iverson, M. Jäch, C.L. Jenkins, R.K.B. Jenkins, A.R. Kiester, J.S. Keogh, T.E. Lacher Jr., J.E. Lovich, L. Luiselli, D.L. Mahler, D. Mallon, R. Mast, R.W. Mcdiarmid, J. Measey, R.A. Mittermeier, S. Molur, V. Mossbrugger, R. Murphy, D. Naish, M. Niekisch, H. Ota, J.F. Parham, M.J. Parr, N.J. Pilcher, R.H. Pine, A.B. Rylands, J.G. Sanderson, J. Savage, W. Schleip, G.J. Scrocchi, H.B. Shaffer, E.N. Smith, R. Sprackland, S.N. Stuart, H. Vetter, L.J. Vitt, T. Waller, G. Webb, E.O. Wilson, H. Zaher, and S. Thomson (Corresponding Author). 2015. Comment on Spracklandus Hoser, 2009 (Reptilia, Serpentes, ELAPIDAE): request for confirmation of the availability of the generic name and for the nomenclatural validation of the journal in which it was published. (Case 3601; see BZN 70: 234–237; 71: 30–38, 133–135, 181–182, 252–253). Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 72(1):65-78.
  • Koch A, Ziegler T, Böhme W, Auliya M (2013) Pressing Problems: Distribution, Threats and Conservation Status of the Monitor Lizards (Varanidae: Varanus ssp.) of Southeast Asia and the Indo-Australian Archipelago. Herpetological Conservation and Biology 8 (Monograph 3):1-62
  • Henle K, Bauch B, Auliya M, Külvik M, Pe'er G, Schmeller DS, Framstad E (2013) Priorities for biodiversity monitoring in Europe: a review of supranational policies and a novel scheme for integrative prioritization. Ecol. Indic. 33: 5-18
  • Böhm M, Collen B, Baillie JEM, Bowles P, Chanson J, Cox N, Hammerson G, Hoffmann M, Livingstone SR, Rama M, Rhodin AGJ,  Stuart SN, van Dijk PP, Young BE, Afuang LE, Aghasyan A, García A, Aguilar C, Ajtic R, Akarsu F, Alencar LRV, Allison A, Ananjeva N, Anderson S, Andrén C, Ariano-Sánchez D, Arredondo JC, Auliya M, Austin CC, et al. (2013) The conservation status of the world’s reptiles. Biodiversity Conservation 157: 372-385
  • Ismail AK, Weinstein SA, Auliya M, Appareo P (2012) Ventricular bigemy following a cobra envenomation. Clinical Toxicology 50: 518-521
  • Auliya M, Wagner P, Böhme W (2012) The herpetofauna of the Bijagós Archipelago, Guinea-Bissau (West Africa) and a first country-wide checklist. Bonn. zool. Bull. 61: 255-281
  • Yaap B, Paoli GD, Angki A, Wells PL, Wahyudi D, Auliya M (2012) First record of the Borneo Earless Monitor (Lanthanotus borneensis) (Steindachner, 1877) (Reptilia: Lanthanotidae) in West Kalimantan (Indonesian Borneo). Journal of Threatened Taxa 4: 3067–3074
  • Ismail AK, Weinstein SA, Auliya M, Sabardin DM, Herbosa TJ, Saiboon IM, White J (2010) A bite by the Twin-Barred Tree Snake, Chrysopelea pelias (Linnaeus, 1758). Clinical Toxicology 48: 222-226
  • Koch A, Auliya M, Schmitz A, Kuch U, Böhme W (2007) Morphological Studies on the Systematics of South East Asian Water Monitor (Varanus salvator Complex): Nominotypic Populations and Taxonomic Overview. In: Advances in Monitor Research III. H.-G. Horn, W. Böhme and U. Krebs (Eds.). Mertensiella 16: 109-180
  • Stuebing RB, Bezuijen MR, Auliya M, Voris HK (2006) The current and historic distribution of Tomistoma schlegelii (The False Gharial) (Müller, 1838) (Crocodylia, Reptilia). Raffles Bull. Zool. 54: 181-197 http://www.fieldmuseum.org/research_collections/zoology/pdf/stuebing_etal_2006.pdf
  • Murphy JC, Voris HK, Auliya M (2005) A New Species of Enhydris (Serpentes: Colubridae: Homalopsinae) from the Kapuas River System, West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Raffles Bull. Zool. 53: 271-275 http://www.fieldmuseum.org/research_Collections/zoology/pdf/murphy_voris_auliya_2005.pdf
  • Auliya M, Mausfeld P, Schmitz A, Böhme W (2002) A Review of the Reticulated Python (Python reticulatus Schneider, 1801) with the description of two subspecies from Indonesia. Naturwissenschaften 89: 201-213
  • Rasmussen A, Auliya M, Böhme W (2001) A new species of the snake genus Hydrophis (Serpentes: Elapidae) from a river in West Kalimantan (Indonesia, Borneo). Herpetologica 57: 23-32
  • Auliya M, Erdelen W (1999) A Field Study of the Water Monitor Lizard (Varanus salvator) in West Kalimantan, Indonesia - New Methods and Old Problems. Mertensiella 11: 247-266
Presentations (Selection)
  • Invited speaker: A Superspecies in Trouble: The role of science to support a sustainable, traceable and legal trade of the reticulated python (Python r. reticulatus) in Southeast Asia. November 7, 2013; 2nd International Conference on Alfred Russel Wallace, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia.
  • Invited speaker: Population genetics and forensic applications of the reticulated python (Python reticulatus ssp.) and the Burmese python (Python bivittatus ssp.) in Southeast Asia. October 13, 2013; UNCTAD-CITES Meeting, Geneva
  • Workshop organizer: "Amphibian trade, risks and legislative issues" and policy recommendations for future action"  RACE - Stakeholder Meeting (Risk assessment of chytridiomycosis in European amphibian diversity), February 26, 2013, Brussels
  • Invited Speaker: A long way to go: Implementation of the "sustainable use concept" in reticulated pythons. IUCN World Conservation Congress, Jeju, South Korea; September 10, 2012 
  • Invited Speaker: Conservation Science Forum – WWF Malaysia; “Tomistoma schlegelii, an overlooked macro-vertebrate and flagship species of a unique wetland ecosystem, the peat swamp forests in SE Asia”, September 12, 2008, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
  • Invited Workshop speaker: Tomistoma Task Force Workshop, “A short-term assessment of the conservation status of Tomistoma schlegelii (Crocodylia: Crocodylidae) in Tanjung Puting National Park (Central Kalimantan, Indonesia)”, March 23-27, 2008, Pattaya, Thailand
  • Invited Workshop leader: Reptile Identification, October 3-5, 2007, Singapore Zoo
  • Invited Workshop speaker: Refining Non-Detriment Finding Tools for the Trade of the Oriental Rat Snake (Ptyas mucosa) in Java (Indonesia), August 15, 2007, Bogor, Indonesia
  • Invited Seminar speaker: Einblicke in aktuelle Forschungsarbeiten: Artenschutz in den Tropen: Gattungen Python und Varanus“ - Gastvortrag im Semi-Block: Evolution und Formenvielfalt der Amphibien und Reptilien, im Zoologischen Forschungsinstitut & Museum Alexander Koenig (ZFMK), Bonn, January 26 – February 6, 2004 [Insights into current research of species conservation in the tropics: Genera: Python and Varanus; University guest lecture: Evolution and Biodiversity of amphibians and reptiles]
  • An introduction – Turtle species covered within proposals at the 12th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to CITES (CoP 12), 3-15 November 2002 in Santiago, Chile; Press conference at WWF-Germany; October 15, 2002, Frankfurt, Germany
  • Invited Speaker: The Live Reptile Trade in the European Union – Annual meeting of the German Society for Herpetology, Amphibian and Reptile Husbandry (DGHT); September 22, 2002, Bad Orb, Germany
  • Invited Speaker: Status and distribution of the False Gharial (Tomistoma schlegelii) – Annual meeting of the Zoological Society for the Conservation of Species and Populations (ZGAP); April 13-14, 2002, “Allwetterzoo”, Münster, Germany
  • Invited speaker: Crocodylus raninus – a valid taxon? – Annual meeting of the AG-Crocodiles; May 18-20, 2001, Königswinter, Germany
  • Invited Speaker: Trade and use of Indonesian reptiles - Working Group for Nature and Species Conservation in the Tropics (AK NAT, Arbeitskreis für Natur- und Artenschutz in den Tropen), May 6, 2000, Boppard, Germany
  • Exotics in Germany – The trade with live reptiles; Press conference at WWF- Germany, March 27, 2000, Frankfurt, Germany.
  • Invited Seminar speaker: Forschungen an Reptilien in Indonesien: a) Ergebnisse aus einem Forschungs- und Entwicklungsvorhaben b) Nutzung von indonesischen Reptilien c) Weiterer Forschungsbedarf - Bundesamt für Naturschutz, BfN, (The Federal Agency for Nature Conservation), February 17, 2000, Bonn, Germany [Research on Indonesian reptiles a) Findings, b) Utilization of indonesian reptiles, and c) further need for research; Federal Agency for Nature Conservation, Germany]
  • Invited Speaker: The European Union Trade with Live Reptiles - Preliminary results - Bundesamt für Naturschutz, BfN (The Federal Agency for Nature Conservation), July 15, 1999, Bonn, Germany
  • Invited Seminar speaker: Preliminary results of the study, “The European Union Trade with Live Reptiles“ – Annual TRAFFIC-Europe staff meeting; March 25-26, 1999, Brussels, Belgium
  • Invited Speaker: Zur Populationsbiologie, Ökologie und Taxonomie des Netzpythons (Python reticulatus) in West-Kalimantan (Borneo, Indonesien); DGHT-Jahres-Tagung, September 10-14, 1997, Dormagen, Germany [Population biology, ecology and taxonomy of the reticulated python (Python reticulatus) in West Kalimantan (Borneo, Indonesia)]
  • Invited Speaker: Eine Herpetozönose eines tropischen Sumpf-Auwaldes in West-Kalimantan (Borneo, Indonesien). DGHT-Jahres-Tagung, September 10-14, 1997, Dormagen, Germany [a herpetological community in a rain-fed tropical swamp forest in West Kalimantan (Borneo, Indonesia)
  • Invited Speaker: The ecology of the water monitor (Varanus salvator) in West-Kalimantan, Indonesia. World Congress of Herpetology, Prague, Czech Republic, August 10, 1997
  • Invited speaker: Preliminary results of the Indonesian project, “Status, Population Biology and Conservation of the Water Monitor (Varanus salvator), the Reticulated Python (Python reticulatus), and the Blood Python (Python curtus) in Sumatra and Kalimantan, Indonesia“. Workshop in Jakarta, Indonesia; November 23, 1996