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Busterboy

The thing from the river.

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Went for a fish down the Onkaparinga and saw somw rippling water, thought it was a River rat but this came up and sat next to me.Never seen one in the river before. Take a look and let me know if it's a local or what.Sorry for the footage but it was the best I could do at the time.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hR3Ky8LNvI4&edit=ev&feature=uenh

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Hard to tell' date=' but looks like an Eastern Water Dragon. Not local.[/quote']Yep agreed. Footage was hard to interpret, but from working with native animals, that's what it looks like. Native / Local in Sydney and it's surrounds

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There are a few known colonies that have established in SA. One is up the Torrens. Commonly kept as pets and released into the wild by irresponsible owners. They can grow quite large too, up to 80-90cm. I wonder what sort of impact they have on the native animals.Cheers.Sam.

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wonder what sort of impact they have on the native animals.

Eastern Water Dragons Physignathus lesueurii are semi-aquatic (hence being found near water) and arborial (sit in tree branches).They feed on insects, aquatic organisms, small terrestrial vertebrates, fruits and berries.Being a displaced native animal I cant see they'd pose too much of an impact given their suitability to the environment and the range of available feed stocks. There are skinks aplenty (which are not threatened or endangered) along with berries, vegetation and insects to keep them well fed. They would not have an adverse effect on the habitat itself, as they are well adapted to similar habitat types.The largest danger I could envisage would be to the resident frog population, as we know frogs are already under stressors from habitat degradation, competition, pollution and predatory species (both native and feral) and many frog species are now threatened and/or disappearing.Water dragons are not endemic to the area, colonies have however established, and this is due solely to irresponsibility on behalf of amateur reptile keepers.I cant say any herpetological group would be too interested, as it's already common knowledge that they are now around the area. Fauna surveys and getting accurate figures on "numbers" would be a far more interesting proposition for herp and environmental groups.

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