Have you seen a Dragon lately?

On the morning of Tuesday 21st March, local residents of northern Sydney will head to the Field of Mars Reserve, East Ryde, to see if they can find local water dragons and help with water quality testing and bush regeneration.

The Dragons of Sydney project is an initiative run by the National Parks Association of NSW (NPA) in partnership with Macquarie University to conserve Sydney’s urban Water Dragons through revegetation and citizen science. 

“Water Dragons iconic and special part of our waterways, however, they are threatened by littering, predation by domestic animals, poor water quality and weed invasion. The Dragons of Sydney project, is working with locals to ensure these special reptiles remain a part of our city,” says Dr Fran van den Berg, NPA Citizen Science Officer.

This upcoming event will be held just before World Water Day 2017, to help raise awareness of the Eastern Water Dragon (Intellagama lesueurii lesueurii) and the importance of looking after our local waterways for these critters.

“Participants on the day will have to opportunity to become a citizen scientist by surveying the Field of Mars dragon population numbers and behaviour with NPA’s citizen science officer, and will learn how to test the water quality of Buffalo Creek via NSW Waterwatch. Information collected by such surveys can provide critical information about water dragons, as well as factors affecting their survival.

“Monash Road Bushcare group are on hand to involve participants in bush regeneration activities, which is vital to restoring habitat for the dragons and other local native species” said Dr van den Berg.

Previous Dragons of Sydney events have successfully involved school students, community members and corporate groups at Taronga Zoo, Marine Parade Manly, Lane Cove National Park and more. This event is supported by the City of Ryde Council and the NSW Environmental Trust, building on previous year’s efforts for this project.

“Through Dragons of Sydney, we want to empower local residents to play a role in helping to conserve their neighbourhood dragons. It is not every city that can boast about having a metre-long semi-aquatic lizard roaming about!” says Dr. van den Berg.

Registrations are required for this event. Please go to tinyurl.com/guuju7j or contact Fran van den Berg, Citizen Science Officer at National Parks Association of NSW – franv@npansw.org.au or ph: 9299 0000

Event & media contact: Fran van den Berg

National Parks Association of NSW, Citizen Science Officer

Ph: 0431 241 701   E: franv@npansw.org.au

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