It may seem strange to some but did you know keeping a cute and cuddly lizard is fast becoming a normal in Australia. Lizards as pets are not only an exciting addition to the family, they are educational pieces providing a way to teach people about our vast array of animals and environments we are lucky enough to share. One thing though that is sadly often missed is the fact that it is illegal to keep our beautiful wildlife without a permit as well and it is illegal to keep exotic non-Australian Reptiles all together.
So how do we know if a reptile is right for you? Firstly, look at the space if your home you have to offer these creatures. Reptiles such as Bearded Dragons and Blue Tongues really need a home no smaller than 120cm to live and grow happy. Where smaller lizards like Geckos or Skinks can be kept in a smaller environment. It is important to provide a pet with enough room to stretch out and use its muscles. Once you decide on a species you like, start talking to your local pet stores to get the information about what is required. Nearly all reptiles require some form of heating and lighting which is supplied through a variety of U.V Tubes, light bulbs and heat mats. House hold bulbs while they glow hot, they often don’t provide the correct shape to direct heat which is important for their digestion.
Next step is to apply for your permit or Licence to keep reptiles. It is different in every state and sometimes called different names. In Queensland you can apply for your Wild Life Authority on the link at the bottom of this page. We also have different classes of reptiles in Qld so again it is best to research what permits your need or call your local pet store for advice.
Lastly is breeding season, Reptiles normally breed in spring resulting in new clutches of eggs hatching towards the end of the year. Sometimes you will be required to go on a waiting list as your new family members are coming out of the incubator and starting to feed.
Care Guide and check list.
Photo by Pierre Bamin