Rosamond Gifford Zoo

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Kimberley Rock Monitor

Varanus glauerti

Kimberley rock monitors are long, slender monitor lizards native to the Kimberley region of Northwestern Australia, an area famous for discoveries of rich fossil sites and dinosaur footprints. These lizards have beautiful markings and their extremely long tails account for more than half their length.

Range & Habitat

This species is endemic to the Kimberley region of Northwestern Australia, where they live in trees or on rocky cliff faces. Their long, thin shape is believed to be an adaptation to vertical habitats, where they use their long tails to balance on lofty perches.

Conservation Status: Least Concern

This species' population is stable thanks in part to protections for their home region by the Australia Wildlife Conservancy.


In the Wild: They are carnivorous and prey on large insects such as katydids, spiders, cockroaches and caterpillars as well as geckos and other small lizards.

At the Zoo: Ground turkey, fuzzy mice, egg whites, crickets, Dubia roaches and superworms.

Life Span

In the Wild: Estimated 5-10 years.
In Human Care: Up to 20 years.

Fun Facts about the Kimberley Rock Monitor

  •  Their scientific name comes from Ludwig Glauert (1879-1963) a British-born geologist and paleontologist who emigrated to Western Australia in 1908 and went on to become director of the Western Australian Museum in Perth in 1954.
  •  There are very few zoos worldwide that care for Kimberley rock monitors. In 2019, the Rosamond Gifford Zoo became the first U.S. zoo to successfully hatch a Kimberley rock monitor.


Updated June 13, 2023
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