Goannas aren’t often seen in the Strathbogies, other than on the drier western/northern escarpment. Even there, sightings aren’t common. And this one wasn’t in the Strathbogies either, though not far away – at Upotipotpon in the Koonda Hills north of Violet Town. This sub-adult Tree Goanna, or Lace Monitor (Varanus varius) was crossing Sloans Rd, not far from Koonda Rd, when I happened to drive by. It wasn’t too worried about the car, but once I stepped out of the car, it headed up the nearest tree. Climbing trees, as the name implies, is a common element of this goanna’s behaviour – it’s where they find much of their food (birds, eggs and nestlings) and also the tree hollows they use for refuge.

There is another goanna species in the district, the Sand Goanna, but it’s much less common (but also climbs trees!). Click on an image to view slide show.