The western bearded dragon, Pogona minor (Squamata: Agamidae): An early lizard coloniser of rehabilitated areas
Royal Society of Western Australia Inc.
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Natural Sciences
We investigated why the western bearded dragon (Pogona minor) is an early coloniser of rehabilitated waste dumps in the mining area around Ora Banda, Western Australia. The daily distance travelled for 19 (14 female and 5 male) P. minor, measured using nylon thread spools attached to the lizard’s tail, was 115 m. This corresponded to a mean linear distance moved of 68 m. Our data suggest that P. minor are one of the first species of reptiles to colonise mine site rehabilitation areas because they move appreciably greater daily distances than other agamid lizards, are spatially widely-foraging, frequently forage in or use saltbush (Atriplex spp) and bluebush (Maireana spp) as basking sites, regularly traverse open areas, readily move up and down steep slopes, and eat bull ants which are generally present on rehabilitated sites. Pogona minor also have a high reproductive potential and show no obvious aversion to mine sites as oviposition locations. Pogona minor eggs incubated at 27 °C took an average of 64 days to hatch, the mean snout-to-vent length was 36.1 mm and the mean mass was 1.74 g