Nature conservation

Threatened species

Rosenberg's Goanna - profile

Indicative distribution

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The areas shown in pink and/purple are the sub-regions where the species or community is known or predicted to occur. They may not occur thoughout the sub-region but may be restricted to certain areas. ( click here to see geographic restrictions). The information presented in this map is only indicative and may contain errors and omissions.
Scientific name: Varanus rosenbergi
Conservation status in NSW: Vulnerable
Commonwealth status: Not listed
Profile last updated: 13 Jan 2022


Rosenberg’s Goanna reaches up to 1.5 metres in length. It is dark grey above, finely spotted with yellow or white, and with paired, blackish cross-bands from the neck to the end of the tail. The pairs of narrow, regular bands around the entire length of the tail is a distinguishing feature, separating it from the more common Lace Monitor V. varius, which has very wide, light and dark bands towards the tip of the tail. Rosenberg’s Goanna also has distinct, finely barred “lips”, whereas the Lace Monitor has far broader bands around the snout. A pale-edged black stripe runs from the eyes, across the ears and onto the neck. Juveniles are brighter in colour, having an orange wash on the sides of the face and body.


Rosenberg's Goanna occurs on the Sydney Sandstone in Wollemi National Park to the north-west of Sydney, in the Goulburn and ACT regions and near Cooma in the south. There are records from the South West Slopes near Khancoban and Tooma River. Also occurs in South Australia and Western Australia.

Habitat and ecology

  • Found in heath, open forest and woodland.
  • Associated with termites, the mounds of which this species nests in; termite mounds are a critical habitat component.
  • Individuals require large areas of habitat.
  • Feeds on carrion, birds, eggs, reptiles and small mammals.
  • Shelters in hollow logs, rock crevices and in burrows, which they may dig for themselves, or they may use other species' burrows, such as rabbit warrens.
  • Runs along the ground when pursued (as opposed to the Lace Monitor, which climbs trees).
  • Lays up to 14 eggs in a termite mound; the hatchlings dig themselves out of the mounds.
  • Generally slow moving; on the tablelands likely only to be seen on the hottest days.

Regional distribution and habitat

Click on a region below to view detailed distribution, habitat and vegetation information.


Recovery strategies

Activities to assist this species

Information sources

IBRA Bioregion IBRA Subregion Known or predicted Geographic restrictions region
Australian AlpsSnowy Mountains Predicted None
NSW South Western SlopesCapertee Valley Predicted None
NSW South Western SlopesInland Slopes Known South-east of a line that runs between Tarcutta and Galong
OceanHawkesbury Shelf Known None
Other StateACT Known None
Other StateJervis Bay Territory Predicted None
Other StateSA Known None
South East CornerSouth East Coastal Ranges Predicted None
South Eastern HighlandsBathurst Known None
South Eastern HighlandsBondo Known None
South Eastern HighlandsBungonia Known None
South Eastern HighlandsCapertee Uplands Known None
South Eastern HighlandsCrookwell Known None
South Eastern HighlandsHill End Known None
South Eastern HighlandsKanangra Known None
South Eastern HighlandsKybeyan-Gourock Known None
South Eastern HighlandsMonaro Known None
South Eastern HighlandsMurrumbateman Known None
South Eastern HighlandsOberon Predicted None
South Eastern HighlandsOrange Known None
Sydney BasinBurragorang Known None
Sydney BasinCumberland Known None
Sydney BasinEttrema Known None
Sydney BasinIllawarra Known None
Sydney BasinJervis Known None
Sydney BasinKerrabee Known None
Sydney BasinMoss Vale Predicted None
Sydney BasinPittwater Known None
Sydney BasinSydney Cataract Known None
Sydney BasinWollemi Known None
Sydney BasinWyong Known None
Sydney BasinYengo Known None