Rainforest skink
Photographer: EPAThere are over 860 reptile species in Australia.  At least 131 of these occur specifically in the Wet Tropics and at least another 20 occur in the region but are not rainforest dependent.

Some of north Queensland's reptiles are very well known and evoke strong reactions because they can be dangerous -- the taipan, the estuarine crocodile and the death adder, for instance. But the Wet Tropics has some other notable reptiles like Australia's largest snake, a primeval forest dragon and the sea turtles who nest on the beaches after crawling up the sand from the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area.

The local reptiles are a diverse group, including lizards without legs, poisonous snakes, freshwater turtles, slender goannas, tiny skinks, geckos with unusual tail shapes and two types of crocodiles.

The concentration of endemic reptiles is greater in the Wet Tropics than in any other area of Australia. Out of 24 species which are exclusively rainforest inhabitants, 18 of them are found nowhere else. Many of the Wet Tropics skinks and lizards are very closely related to species in New Guinea and Southeast Asia and probably originated there, while two of the resident geckos are thought to be Gondwanan in ancestry.


More information

You can find out more about Wet Tropics reptiles by downloading the facts sheets and documents below. 

You can download a reptile list for the Wet Tropics bioregion sourced from the Queensland Government's WildNet database.

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