Have you seen a Water Dragon in your Backyard? National Parks Association of NSW (NPA) would like you to become a citizen scientist and take part in our Sydney-wide survey on how water dragons use backyards in Sydney.

Eastern Water Dragons are semi-aquatic lizards, which can grow to a metre in length, and can be found in patches of coastal bushland around Sydney.  Due to urban development, the natural habitat of water dragons and many other native wildlife species has declined. Despite this, water dragons have managed to thrive in urban landscapes.

One of the places where water dragons have taken up residence is in people’s backyards.

“We often get reports of people finding water dragons hanging out in their backyards, lazing in the sun, and enjoying the delights of backyard pools. We have been amazed by the positive reaction, connections, and endless stories community members seem to have with the water dragons in their backyards,” says Stephanie Clark, Citizen Science Officer with NPA.

“Eastern Water Dragons are an ancient species which have been part of Australia’s ecosystem for more than 20 million years, yet there has been limited research on how they thrive in urban areas – we want to uncover more about them,” says Stephanie.

Anyone can fill out the online survey, whether or not you have seen water dragons in your backyard.  It’s important to gather data about the features of backyards with dragons, as well as those without dragons, so that through this study, we can start to tease out which backyard features are correlated with dragon presence.

“We want to find out what encourages Eastern Water Dragons to appear in your backyard, which will give us information on how to create more Dragon Backyards. Not only will these Dragon Backyards be much loved by your new and old dragon tenants, but we hope that they will create habitat and wildlife corridors for urban wildlife across Sydney.”

“To take part in the Backyard Survey, you don’t have to be a herpetologist, you just have to have a backyard no matter how small or large.  So put your citizen science hat on, and take part!”

Complete the ‘Dragons of Sydney Backyard Survey’ at BIT.LY/DRAGONSURVEY.

This survey is conducted by NPA in association with researchers from the University of Sydney, Macquarie University and University of Melbourne.

MEDIA CONTACT

Stephanie Clark: 0432105278

‘Dragons of Sydney’ is managed by the National Parks Association of NSW with support from the NSW Government’s Environmental Trust.