Cooma men's shed replicate spider holes to save dragons
Members of Cooma's Men's Shed are channelling their wild side, helping save the rare Monaro Grassland Earless Dragon by creating artificial spider hole habitat across the Monaro Plains.
Senior Threatened Species Officer with the Department of Planning and Environment, Rob Armstrong, is coordinating the workshop on 9 May in a truly grassroots efforts to save this grassland-dwelling species from extinction.
"The Cooma Men's Shed members are literally coming to the rescue of this tiny but mighty dragon, found only on the Monaro grasslands," Mr Armstrong said.
"These small, 7-15 centimetre long reptiles like living in holes or burrows created by wolf spiders as they are the perfect size and offer ideal protection from predators.
"With changes to the grasslands through the spread of weeds, intensified wetting and drying cycles and various pasture modification, we are seeing a decline in species habitat.
"The Men's Shed have kindly agreed to create artificial spider burrows that will be placed in paddocks across the region, that we'll then check as part of our regular survey efforts to better understand where these dragons occur," Mr Armstrong said.
The artificial burrows are 15 centimetre long narrow tubes made from PVC piping and bonded sand to enable the reptile to crawl in and out.
The sand-lined inner tube sits inside a broader tube and will be buried in the soil so only the top opening is visible.
The Monaro Grassland Earless Dragon is found in treeless paddocks with open space between grass tussocks, and rock cover for shelter and basking.
Landholders and the public can help protect the dragon by retaining areas of native pasture, managing weeds and refraining from removing rock from paddocks.
For more information on how you can help this species, visit the NSW Environment website.
If you think you've seen a Monaro Grassland Earless Dragon on your property and would like further information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org