Lace Monitor or Tree Goanna (Varanus varius)

Who am I?

The largest lizard in the Gippsland landscape. I’m an easily recognisable reptile, reaching up to 2m from head to tail. I have a long and thick tail, almost as large as the rest of my body. I am dark in colour with detailed patterns of yellow, green and blue that can look like a ‘lacing pattern’, hence the name.

Where can you find me?

I can only be found in South-eastern Australia! I live in the forests and woodlands, amongst my favourite trees, the Messmate Stringybark and the Narrow-leaved Peppermint, which I use to lay my eggs safely from predators.

I can be seen around The Gurdies, Grantville, Inverloch, Leongatha, Tarwin and Wonthaggi, but sometimes I also wander farther across roads, through farms and even through towns, looking for a new home, food or a mate.

Why am I threatened?

Many of the woodlands, forests and large trees that I need to survive have been cleared for farming and urban development or are dying off over time. I need to travel large distances between suitable places to live and sometimes that involves crossing large roads, which can be dangerous. Feral foxes and cats sometimes eat my eggs or my offspring.

How can you help?

Keep your distance! Sometimes I can get a bit annoyed if you come too close to me so please leave me be.

Protecting large old Eucalyptus trees on your property will give me somewhere safe to live and lay eggs. Don’t forget, my favourite trees are Messmate Stringybark and Narrow-leaved Peppermint!

Fencing out remnant trees or patches of forests and woodlands on farms is important to protect my habitat. Cattle often chase me down because they fear me, so I need safe places to hide and to explore.

Planting trees and corridors between remaining habitat will help me to cross farms and avoid roads and open ground where I’m in danger from farm animals and humans.

Get involved now!

If you have seen a Lace Monitor, please report the sighting HERE

If you have or know of a suitable property for creating corridors or protecting remnant forest, please contact us HERE

If you want to join our Landcare group and get involved with on-ground works such as planting, weeding & educational activities, sign up HERE

Link to projects: Bunurong Coast Woodlands and Western Port Woodlands.

Thank you for contributing to protecting a local threatened species!


Victorian Conservation Status: Endangered

Ecological Vegetation Classes: Lowland Forest, Damp Sands herb-rich Woodland, Heathy Woodland, Herb-Rich Foothill Forest, Damp Forest, Damp Heathy Woodland.

Key Flora Species: Messmate Stringybark (Eucalyptus obliqua), Narrow-leaved Peppermint (Eucalyptus radiata).

Photo top with thanks to Luke Anderson. Above top: Lace Monitor @ Mullungdung Nature Conservation Reserve by Craig Boase. Below by Luke Anderson.