Backyard Guide for Attracting Reptiles

Reptiles represent an ancient lineage of wildlife that formed during the era of the Dinosaurs. Their prehistoric ways of life can be witnessed on any given sunny day. Even on your backyard pavement you can witness the alert and playful antics of Garden Skinks, or the slow and sluggish movements of the iconic Blue-tongued Lizard. Down at any given local swamp you might see Eastern Snake-necked Turtles basking and Red-bellied Black Snakes patrolling for frogs. Sydney has a lot of herpetological diversity to offer, yet many species of reptiles are in decline in the greater Sydney region. Everyone can lend a helping hand on a local level by creating a reptile friendly garden. If you want some prehistoric animals to roam your garden follow this guide!

Why let reptiles roam your garden?

Reptiles can be excellent pest control guards. Blue Tongues demolish garden snails (take note to all those who have a veggie garden!), and the alert skink species assassinate flies. Most Sydney gardens have the potential to allow large populations of skinks (even blue tongues!) to exist. Anyone who tries to discourage their local lizard populations runs the risk of getting invaded by pest insects.

Eastern River Skink (Eulamprus quoyii) | Copyright Chad Beranek 2015

Eastern River Skink (Eulamprus quoyii) | Copyright Chad Beranek 2015

There is even greater reward for those who wish to live in peace with their local snakes. Many snake species, including the humble Diamond Python, love feasting on pest rodents such as rats and mice. Allowing a Diamond Python to roam the attic every once in a while will do wonders for keeping rats and mice away from your house. Other more deadly snakes such as the Eastern Brown Snake can be used to the same effect. However there are safety concerns which timid highly venomous species are living in high population dense suburbs. Please see this article on the dos and donts of living with venomous snakes.

Diamond Python (Morelia spilota spilota) | Copyright Chad Beranek 2015

Diamond Python (Morelia spilota spilota) | Copyright Chad Beranek 2015

Backyard Structures which attract reptiles

  • Rock Piles/Pavement/Garden Stones

  • Water and Sand

  • Vegetation and Leaf Litter

 

Reptiles of Sydney