Until recently, the Australian outback was uninhabited by primates or other mammalian predators, making it a perfect habitat for reptiles. Lizards were especially adaptable to the hot, hostile environment and thrived in the outback. Australia has many reptiles which are dangerous to humans, including the world’s largest reptile, the Saltwater Crocodile.
Australia has a large diversity of reptiles, with over 860 species. 204 of this species have been nominated by conservation agencies as warranting threatened status. The main reasons for endangerment of species are: loss of habitat, overgrazing by stock, cropping, urban development and predation by introduced mammals (mainly foxes, cats and rats.
In the Coober Pedy opal fields of South Australia, abandoned mine fields are a constant danger to reptiles living in the wild. As many as 10-28 million reptiles are trapped and killed by these mines.
The Australian government allows only certain reptiles to kept as pets. The list can be downloaded from the Department of Environment and Conservation website.
|List of Australian reptiles:|