A Complete Guide to The Reptiles of Australia
Australia is a powerhouse when it comes to wildlife diversity. Of Australia’s over 392 known species of vertebrate animals, around 293 of them are reptiles. This makes Australia one of the indisposable homes of reptiles like snakes, lizards, turtles, crocodiles and dragons around the world.
Types of Reptiles Found in Australia
The reptiles of Australia can be divided into the following four categories:
- Snakes: Australia is home to about 140 species of snakes, including the highly venomous taipan, tiger and brown snakes. Other common types of Australian snakes are the carpet python and black-headed python.
- Lizards: This reptilian group is one of the most diverse on the continent. Australia has over 200 species of lizards present, including the iconic frill-necked lizard and the bobtail lizard. Bearded dragons, shingleback lizards and even curious geckos also call Australia home.
- Turtles + Tortoises: Among Australia’s reptilian inhabitants is an equally prized group of turtles and tortoises. This group includes the Murray River Turtle, the Mary River Turtle and the long-necked tortoise.
- Crocodiles: Australia is famous for its numerous species of crocodiles. These range from the iconic saltwater crocodile, to the more docile freshwater crocodile. With their powerful jaws and scaly hides, these ancient reptiles lurk in waters from the Northern Territory, to the sunshine state of Queensland.
Reptiles can be found throughout Australia. Snakes and lizards call the open woodlands of Western Australia home, whilst the boulder strewn rocky outcrops of the Northern Territory are frequented by their frilled-necked relatives. Further south, the cool, damp rainforests of Queensland are populated by shinglebacks, geckos and turtles. The saltwater and freshwater species, meanwhile, make their homes in the tropical and sub-tropical swamps and mangroves that hug the nation’s coastline, from the Kimberly in the north, to Tasmania in the south.
Like many of Australia’s other unique creatures, a range of Australia’s reptiles, including the Mary River turtle, Northern quoll and the Garrick’s monitor, are now being threatened by human activity. As part of their efforts to protect these creatures, government authorities, conservation groups and scientists, are now working hard to ensure their survival.
This article will provide readers with an overview of the reptiles of Australia, with an emphasis on their types, habitats and conservation efforts. With their scaly hides, powerful jaws and many mysterious ways, Australia’s reptiles have not only captured the imagination of humans, but have also become an integral part of Australia’s wildlife heritage.