Help protect Rosenberg's Goanna

Help protect Rosenberg's Goanna

Rosenberg's Goanna are large monitor lizards, only found in southern Australia. Much more than just one of our largest native reptiles, the unique monitor lizards have been known to recognise people’s faces, migrate and return home from 12km away, and even count to 6!

Already listed as 'Vulnerable' in South Australia, Victoria and New South Wales, monitoring results are suggesting that they are declining in the ACT. Ainslie-Majura Nature Reserve is an important breeding habitat for the species. While past surveys have suggested there are around 6-10 Rosenberg's Goannas within the reserve complex, only 3 individuals were identified in 2020 and no animals were recorded on camera in 2021.

Thanks to a citizen science project led by the National Parks Association of the ACT, our understanding of the goanna is rapidly increasing. The major threats to Rosenberg's Goanna populations include predation by foxes, injury and predation by dogs off leash, loss of woodland habitat and inappropriate fire regimes.

There are several ways the public can support conservation efforts, including following dog regulations, driving carefully in parks and reserves and leaving woody debris where it's found. If you're lucky enough to spot a goanna, we'd also love to see your sighting on Canberra Nature Map. If you manage to get a face photo, it can also be added to the database of goanna individuals.

Are you on the hunt for a new area to exercise your dog? Check out ACTmapi's dog exercise area map for a list of on and off leash locations.

A Rosenberg's Goanna amongst grasses and fallen branches.