Many times during our trips we spot goannas basking on the rocks or crossing the roads. They are also called monitor lizards or varanids. There are 28 species of goannas in Australia.
Yellow spotted monitor is dark brown, heavily built and can grow up to 1.4 meters. Its distinctive feature is the yellow dots that can be found on the monitor body, so it is easily recognizable. The underside is pale and its tail is laterally compressed and has narrow dark bands in the end.
They have sharp teeth and claws so when spotted it is best to stay away and take a good photo from a distance. When threatened they rear up on their hind legs and also emit harsh hissing noise.
Monitors can be found in a variety of habitats, including coastal beaches, grasslands, and woodlands. They have excellent sense of smell and feed mostly on small vertebrates and insects.
During the wet season the lay eggs in underground burrows.
Currently the biggest threat to goannas are cane toads. If goanna eats a cane toad that is full of toxins, it can actually kill the animal.
Yellow spotted monitor can be found in Northern Australia in Kimberley, Northern Territory and up to the Cape York Peninsula. A distinct subspecies occur in the Pilbara and Gascoyne Region of Western Australia.
The yellow spotted monitor on the pictures we spotted in the Kimberley region in Western Australia. We were doing our Mitchell Falls walk and right in the middle of it, just above Merten Falls we saw this monitor resting on the rock.
It was amazing to watch this beautiful animal in its natural environment.
Where spotted: Mitchell Falls WA,