A Local Identity

 

Local Icon is Named

 

The Grassland Earless Dragon has become the local icon that uniquely identifies the Pittsworth District Landcare Association. While the dragon was busy identifying Pittsworth District Landcare Association, we were busy tyring to identify them.

 

Pittsworth District Landcare Association was instrumental in initiating and resourcing the research which has resulted in the discovery and naming of two local species of Grassland Earless Dragon.

 

Tympanocryptis condaminensis occurs on the flood plain on the outlands to the east of the Condamine River and is the species found locally in the Pittsworth and eastern Darling Downs area.  

 

T.wilsoni lives on the western side of the river with populations identified in the Roma area.

 

 

It's all in the genes

 

Grassland Earless Dragons were first thought to be all the same species. Museum Victoria was commissioned to conduct a research project into the local earless dragon found only in the Darling Downs area.  Research confirmed the discovery of a new species, with closer investigations finding a second distinct species in the western Darling Downs.

 

The research findings have been described in a newly published paper by the Museum of Victoria titled The Role of Integrative Taxonomy in the Conservation of Cryptic Species: The Taxonomic Status of Endangered Earless Dragons in the Grasslands of Queensland

 

The research team was headed by Dr Jane Melville, and included Katie Smith and Sumitha Hunjan from Museum Victoria, the University of Queensland’s Luke Shoo, and Rod Hobson from the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.

 

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