Goanna get noticed
30 November 2016
The antics of native goannas have captivated locals and overseas visitors with people providing 600 sightings to Natural Resources Eyre Peninsula’s citizen science website, epgoannas.com.au since it opened on Threatened Species Day, September 7 2015.
As the weather warms up the focus this year is to hear from people that observe goannas in the Wangary, Marble Range, Greenly, Coulta areas and urban-rural zone surrounding Port Lincoln. Coast and Marine Officer Kerryn McEwan said it is great to have goanna data for Lincoln and Coffin Bay National Parks, as we previously had low observations in these areas.
“If it’s a sunny day and you are in the Park it’s highly likely that you will see a goanna, especially if you are driving slowly,” she said.
“This summer we would like to hear from rural people within the farming districts that may have recently seen goannas, or even kept historically records of goannas living in the bush blocks on their properties. This will help us piece together how they might be moving and surviving across the landscape,” she said.
Goannas are an important apex species that regulate other animal populations such as feral rabbits and smaller lizards, road kill and carrion.
On southern Eyre Peninsula, we mainly have two goanna species, Rosenberg’s Goanna (Varanus rosenbergii) which are Endangered in the region, and Sand Goannas (Varanus gouldii). The high number of goanna reports also reveals the nature-based tourism potential and importance of maintaining our natural places so people can experience all Australian wildlife species living together in balance with their environment. Monitoring and Evaluation Officer Ben Smith said collecting this data has also highlighted the desire from locals and international visitors alike to seek out new knowledge on wildlife.
“We’ve had people from Austria, France, Germany, Holland, New Caledonia, Switzerland, Netherlands, United Kingdom, New Zealand as well as interstate and locals log their goanna sightings,” he said.
For further information call us on (08) 8688 3111 or visit www.landscape.sa.gov.au/ep
Communications and Engagement Officer