The Eastern Water Dragon (Physignathus lesueurii) is a resident species in the Chinese Garden of Friendship.
This Water Dragon is a reptile species that is endemic to eastern Australia, in areas that have ample access to water. This reptile can grow up to 80 centimeters in length, and the males often have a reddish chest.
The diet of the Water Dragons include insects, small mammals, fish and fruit. They will also scavenge from visitors to the garden.
Before Australia was colonised, this site where the Chinese Garden stands was open water that lay adjacent to a low-lying swamp. As the number of settlers increased and Sydney grew, the area was developed, becoming an industrial site around the mid 19th century. It wasn’t until the 1980s when the area was redeveloped into the Darling Harbour precinct and the Chinese Garden of Friendship built and the garden streams and ponds were established that the dragons were settled into the area.
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