These reptiles, with their characteristic ‘beard’, which they puff up when threatened, are a special favourite with children visiting Healesville Sanctuary.
Eastern Bearded Dragons are classed as ‘least concern’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (on the IUCN ‘red list’). Although the species is not considered to be vulnerable, they suffer from habitat loss with land clearing for agriculture.
Meeting the Eastern Bearded Dragons at Healesville Sanctuary is an important way to connect with the reptiles of Australia, and to learn about the Sanctuary’s conservation programs, especially those aimed at conserving threatened native species. The money you spend helps to support the Sanctuary’s conservation programs and its care of native wildlife as well as fight species extinction.
Eastern Bearded Dragons are native to Australia and found in eastern and south-eastern Australia (NSW, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria).
An adult is grey-black with occasional colour variations. Males grow up to 60cm and weigh up to 600g.
Eastern Bearded Dragons are mostly insectivorous and herbivorous.
Their preferred habitat is dry woodlands but they are sometimes also seen in urban areas, often basking in the sun. They are quick and agile tree climbers, using trees to escape from threats and watch out for predators and prey.
Eggs are laid in the soil in sunny locations. A female may lay 10 to 20 eggs, perhaps two or three times in a breeding season. The eggs incubate for 2 months.