Lizards live in almost any habitat and can be found on every continent in the world except Antarctica. There are over 5,000 lizard species around the world ranging from geckos to iguanas and blue-tongued lizards.
Papua New Guinea is home to the world’s longest lizard, the Varanus Salvadorii, commonly referred to as the ‘Crocodile Monitor’, which can grow as long as 3.6 meters in length.
The Komodo dragon is commonly mistaken to be the longest lizard, when it is actually the world’s heaviest lizard.
The Nature Park has a number of lizards that it cares for, including the blue-tongued lizards that is part of the reptile family at the Park.
Over the past eight years the Nature Park has hand-raised, rehabilitated and saved hundreds of native animals like the blue-tongued lizards. Its rescue and rehabilitation program secures the welfare and conservation of animals that have been endangered or threatened and can no longer thrive in their environment.
In January 2018, eleven baby blue-tongued lizards were rescued by the Salonica family residing in Taurama, after they were orphaned by a dog that killed their mother. Three baby lizards were still in the womb when she died but were able to be removed from their sacs by the family. Unfortunately, only two survived.
When surrendering the rescued lizards, the family recounted to Nature Park Wildlife Manager, Ishimu Bebe, how sad it was that there are not as many in Taurama as there used to be.
“Growing up in that area, we would see so many blue-tongued lizards, even as recently as two years ago. But as the Taurama area continues to develop you just don’t see them anymore, which is quite sad.”
The blue-tongue baby lizards were cared for by the Nature Park wildlife team. Some were released back into the wild once they were older, while others remain within the park’s collection.
Come learn more about lizards by visiting the Nature Park ‘Reptile Haus’.
The Port Moresby Nature Park is dedicated to inspiring in others the guardianship of PNG’s unique natural environment and culture.