Bearded Dragons in the wild

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james2109

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Hi there
I’m a new member of the site. I’m not a reptile collector but am passionate about sighting reptiles in the wild. I now live in Queensland but grew up in western Sydney near the site of the M2 where we would catch loads of Beardie dragons and blue tongues. I still remember seeing 6 bearded dragons in one small area on one occasion and catching 3 of them. We would hardly ever go into the area and not see a beardie. I can also remember seeing beardeds just on the trees as we waited for the school bus at Crestwood reserve in north west Sydney.
I have my own kids now and like me they love reptiles. I love taking them out to see wild reptiles.
Anyhow, every time I would go back to Sydney to visit my parents I’d go looking for bearded dragons in the remaining bush around western Sydney and I wouldn’t see a single beardee. We found spots where there is plenty of water dragons but no beardeds. The water dragons seem to be thriving.
Now I live in Queensland in an area near plenty of bush and we go out looking and see lots of water dragons and snakes and have even seen a few Goannas but no bearded dragons. We even saw a southern angle headed dragon.
I read online and in books about how common bearded dragons are around Sydney and Brisbane, being even seen on fence posts and near surburbia. I recently spoke to a council worker whose job was to clear vegetation in the reserves around western Sydney. He could also remember the time when bearded dragons were a very common site. He could not remember the last time he had seen one and basically said they had disappeared. Now there may be areas around Australia where they are still common but my own experience in western Sydney and in the north of Brisbane is they have all but disappeared in the wild. This is is a little sad considering how many thousands of beardies that would be kept as pets in these areas. I asked the guy who ran the reptile shop in rouse hill in Sydney and he said that they were all gone because of cats and dogs and people taking them for the pet trade. Now I know the pet beardies are supposed to be all bred in captivity but I’m not sure this was always the case and perhaps they are still being taken. Even the blue tongues in the wild seem to be on the decline and I rarely hear of people who have wild blue tongues in their back yards these days.

What are peoples experiences? Are bearded dragons in rapid decline and no longer common in many areas? Is this the result of the pet trade or other factors? Could beardeds be reintroduced into suitable areas to breed up again?
Thanks for any feedback and observations
James
 
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