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The 2017 search for the Grassland Earless Dragon

The Grassland Earless Dragon (Tympanocryptis pinguicolla) has not been seen in Victoria since 1969.

From February to April 2017 Zoos Victoria and the Corangamite Catchment Management Authority are appealing to the general public in and around the volcanic plains of western Victoria to help re-discover the Grassland Earless Dragon.

Any members of the community who think they may have seen a dragon, know of suitable habitat or would like to keep up to date with the search can visit zoo.org.au/dragonsearch

Join the search 

About the dragon

The Grassland Earless Dragon was once widespread and found throughout western Victoria, NSW and ACT, from Geelong to Bathurst.  However many populations have been lost, with the last confirmed sighting of a Grassland Earless Dragon in Victoria in 1969 at Little River, with unconfirmed sightings continuing up to 1990. Habitat loss and fragmentation thought to be the main causes of decline in the species.

Appearance
  • This little dragon reaches just 15cm from head to tail when fully grown
  • ​They are typically light brown in colour, with three white stripes running down their body and a number of darker bands running across the body
  • They lack external ear openings unlike most other lizards
  • This little animal is also energetic for its size, with some adults moving over 110 m a day

Habitat

  • Open, short grasslands usually with some rocks to bask on
  • Prefer areas that have not been cultivated, dominated by native wallaby grasses, spear grasses, tussock grasses, and kangaroo grass
  • Some areas to consider might be rail reserves, roadsides and cemeteries as they as less likely to be disturbed

How can you help?

Saving the Grassland Earless Dragon

As part of Zoos Victoria’s Wildlife Conservation Masterplan 2014- 2019 and with support from the Victorian Government’s Fighting Extinction Fund, Zoos Victoria is working to confirm the existence of the dragon in Victoria through additional surveys and contribute to the national conservation of the Grassland Earless Dragon. 

Plans and publications

Class 
Reptilia
Order 
Squamata
Family 
Agamidae
Genus 
Tympanocryptis
Species 
T. pinguicolla
Status 
Critically Endangered
Found in 
Victorian populations possibly extinct, also found and threatened in NSW and ACT