Chinese Water Dragon (Physignathus cocincinus)

Habitat :

HABITAT AND ECOLOGY This species inhabits evergreen forest, where it is always found in association with streams and rivers. Animals are sedentary and exhibit strong site philopatry: Nguyen et al. (2018) found that capturing and releasing animals as part of a mark-recapture study did not cause them to abandon favoured perch sites. Nguyen et al. (2018) found that the species was consistently less abundant at higher elevations in all survey sites, and hypothesized that this may relate to stream properties and water quality. It rests on the branches of trees overhanging the waterway, into which it will plunge to escape danger. It forages in the middle of the day for insects, earthworms, and small rodents. Clutches comprise 8 to 12 eggs laid in exposed sandy areas on streambeds. It roosts overnight high up in streamside trees (Chan-ard et al. 2015). Although long-lived the species is relatively fast-growing, with juveniles reaching subadult size within two months (Nguyen et al. 2018). This species inhabits tropical areas of China at around 100 m asl. Zhao et al. (1999) reported that the it is commonly found in forest and rocky streams. It lays about 6–14 eggs per clutch (Zhao et al. 1999).

Current Status :

This species occurs in multiple protected areas in all range states; the species' distribution in Thailand is essentially completely protected, but this represents a minority of the distribution. An assessment of its population status, abundance and distribution is recommended (Nguyen et al. 2018). Captive breeding for local use should be considered (Nguyen et al. 2018); this species breeds very readily in captivity in the international pet trade. Conservation measures that limit harvest and trade within range countries are needed. An evaluation of the scale, volume and impacts of trade are urgently needed to evaluate whether this species is a candidate for international control measures. Review of this species by CITES is recommended (B.L. Stuart pers. comm. 2017), as the species is not CITES listed. It is listed in the "List of Beneficial or of Important Economic or Scientific Value Terrestrial Wild Animals under States Protection", under the protection of the "Law of the People's Republic of China on the Protection of Wildlife" (L. Shi and B. Cai pers. comm. 2018).


CLASS : Reptilia

ORDER : Squamata

FAMILY : Agamidae

GENUS : Physignathus

SPECIES : Chinese Water Dragon (Physignathus cocincinus)

Conservation status : Vulnerable

Reference :

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Update : 06 April 2017