A risk assessment for the Downs bearded dragon (Pogona henrylawsoni) has been conducted by the Department.
As a key component of risk assessment for import into Tasmania, conventional climate modelling was applied to compare the state’s environment with the species’ natural range in Queensland. CLIMATCH revealed “low” potential (no match) for suitable habitat across the entire state, indicating little or no probability that Downs bearded dragons could survive in the wild.
The risk assessment determined the Downs bearded dragon as not dangerous to humans, having a low establishment risk and with a low consequence of establishment. It was therefore proposed the species be assigned to a moderate threat category.
Following the initial risk assessment, the Department considers permitting the importation of animals assessed as ‘moderate risk’ into the State as long as appropriate mitigation measures, enforced through a wildlife exhibition licence, can be identified and applied.
Mitigation options to reduce the risk associated with importing the Downs bearded dragon could include:
Limit importation to registered wildlife parks or zoos to ensure the holding facility meets the stringent keeping standards Tasmania applies to all such institutions;
Require any wildlife park or zoo to submit a Downs bearded dragon species management plan (including enclosure details) prior to import; and
Require the wildlife exhibition facility licene holders to clearly demonstrate that they have proficient keepers for the species.
Downs Bearded Dragon Risk Assessment (PDF 146Kb)