Beardies being introduced to Colorado

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Beardies being introduced to Colorado

Postby bigsad9000 » Wed Jun 19, 2019 5:58 pm

So this was just a random thought ive had recently. Since I'm native to Colorado and I have a bearded dragon I was imagining a scenario where bearded dragons were somehow introduced to the state of Colorado as an invasive species. How would they do? What would they do during the harsh winters? How common would they be if they did survive? What would be there primary source of food and water? And other questions both short term and long term. Let's get a discussion going I'm really interested in this.
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Re: Beardies being introduced to Colorado

Postby kingofnobbys » Thu Jun 20, 2019 5:16 am

Winter in Cororado will kill the dragons.

They are not evolved / adapted to cope with weeks of blizzard conditions and literally polar temperatures.

When the warm weather returns , the frozen dragons will be dead , they will not revive like animals evolved for these conditions in winter.

Altitude may be an issue too until your dragon get's used to the thinner air.
Bare in mind that no where in dragon natural range is it higher than maybe 2000 ft.
Last edited by kingofnobbys on Thu Jun 20, 2019 5:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : Fluffy - 4yr rescued lawnmowing accident victim 14Nov17.
Lucky - cat attack rescue, fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
Wriggles - rescued injured ,thought she was a big lizard, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16. .
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Re: Beardies being introduced to Colorado

Postby bigsad9000 » Thu Jun 20, 2019 5:24 am

You don't think they could possibly make burrows and brumate until winter is over?
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Re: Beardies being introduced to Colorado

Postby kingofnobbys » Thu Jun 20, 2019 5:26 am

bigsad9000 wrote:You don't think they could possibly make burrows and brumate until winter is over?


No. They will die.

Unlike many Nth American reptiles and amphibians , there no antifreeze in their cells or blood, their blood cells will rupture , and their cells in every tissue and organ will be destroyed by being frozen even for short periods. For bearded dragons there is no coming back from being frozen solid.

Brumation is not the same as hibernation , most dragons wake up every so often when in brumation or only brumate for a few weeks even in the wild in their native range over winter..

Releasing / dumping an unwanted bearded dragon to the wild in Colorado is giving it a death sentence. No ifs no buts.

Only states of the USA where dumped bearded dragons might survive winter are Florida , the southern end of Texas , and Hawaii .
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : Fluffy - 4yr rescued lawnmowing accident victim 14Nov17.
Lucky - cat attack rescue, fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
Wriggles - rescued injured ,thought she was a big lizard, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16. .
Gecko : Godzilla the hatchling GEHYRA GECKO (hatched May 2019)
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Re: Beardies being introduced to Colorado

Postby Aaradimian » Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:52 am

kingofnobbys wrote:Only states of the USA where dumped bearded dragons might survive winter are Florida , the southern end of Texas , and Hawaii .


I'd suggest that they would probably be okay in New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and parts of California and Utah that are more scrub-y/desert-y. I live in Colorado, and while we do get snow and some cold winters, south & southwest of Denver conditions change fairly quickly. Because some of these areas are true desert, it does get cold at night, but not freezing, and the sand/soil retains heat enough that I think they'd be okay burrowing.

They definitely wouldn't make it in the foothills and mountains west of me, but Colorado is funny regarding winter because of the topography and its geographic location. In Denver, we can go an entire winter without a snowfall > a few cm. because we're in the rain shadow of the Rocky Mountains. However, there are years like this one where we get decent precipitation, though it never sticks around like in the U.S. upper Midwest states. East of Denver is the plains, which can get smacked with snow and strong storms, or not, depending on the year. The mountains usually see a goodly amount of snow, but the entire area goes through drought cycles, and areas like Pueblo, Grand Junction, and the 4-corners area can be quite dry.

They'd be pretty miserable in Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida because of the high humidity, but those states are likewise snow/freeze free on the sides near the Gulf of Mexico.
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Re: Beardies being introduced to Colorado

Postby bigsad9000 » Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:03 am

[Click image to enlarge]


So I found this map of the climates of Colorado. Which ones would they thrive in?

I would imagine that they would do far better here that in Australia since I assume it isnt nearly as dry and food is more plentiful.
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Re: Beardies being introduced to Colorado

Postby kingofnobbys » Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:46 am

Aaradimian wrote:
kingofnobbys wrote:Only states of the USA where dumped bearded dragons might survive winter are Florida , the southern end of Texas , and Hawaii .


I'd suggest that they would probably be okay in New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, and parts of California and Utah that are more scrub-y/desert-y.
<<< doubt it …. too far north , winters too extreme, maybe the warmer year round areas of California but …. I woundn't bet money on that.

I live in Colorado, and while we do get snow and some cold winters, south & southwest of Denver conditions change fairly quickly. Because some of these areas are true desert, it does get cold at night, but not freezing, and the sand/soil retains heat enough that I think they'd be okay burrowing.

They definitely wouldn't make it in the foothills and mountains west of me, but Colorado is funny regarding winter because of the topography and its geographic location. In Denver, we can go an entire winter without a snowfall > a few cm. because we're in the rain shadow of the Rocky Mountains. However, there are years like this one where we get decent precipitation, though it never sticks around like in the U.S. upper Midwest states. East of Denver is the plains, which can get smacked with snow and strong storms, or not, depending on the year. The mountains usually see a goodly amount of snow, but the entire area goes through drought cycles, and areas like Pueblo, Grand Junction, and the 4-corners area can be quite dry.

They'd be pretty miserable in Louisiana, Alabama, Georgia, and Florida because of the high humidity, but those states are likewise snow/freeze free on the sides near the Gulf of Mexico.


Humidity is not that huge a problem , I know several people who have pet centrals who live in Cairns, Darwin, and Broome , tropical monsoon in summer (it's actually called the Wet Season).
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : Fluffy - 4yr rescued lawnmowing accident victim 14Nov17.
Lucky - cat attack rescue, fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
Wriggles - rescued injured ,thought she was a big lizard, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16. .
Gecko : Godzilla the hatchling GEHYRA GECKO (hatched May 2019)
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Re: Beardies being introduced to Colorado

Postby bigsad9000 » Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:49 am

So they could find refuge in Texas. They COULD survive but they would have to be deliberately dumped into a state like Texas.

And from Texas they could move to Florida and the more humid states.
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Re: Beardies being introduced to Colorado

Postby Aaradimian » Thu Jun 20, 2019 10:13 am

bigsad9000 wrote:[Click image to enlarge]


So I found this map of the climates of Colorado. Which ones would they thrive in?

I would imagine that they would do far better here that in Australia since I assume it isnt nearly as dry and food is more plentiful.


Well, I suspect that the yellow areas in the west, southwest might be the most suitable only for the reasons I mentioned earlier. I don't think the eastern plains would be good because it does get cold enough to freeze/snow. Even the south-central near Raton Pass is probably not safe because they do get some hard snows there due to the altitude. And I'm talking about possibility to survive, not establish a population. For that, I think it'd be the other areas where freezes don't happen. Even Tucson and Sedona in AZ are not likely good places because they too are at altitude.
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Re: Beardies being introduced to Colorado

Postby bigsad9000 » Thu Jun 20, 2019 10:16 am

Aaradimian wrote:
bigsad9000 wrote:[Click image to enlarge]


So I found this map of the climates of Colorado. Which ones would they thrive in?

I would imagine that they would do far better here that in Australia since I assume it isnt nearly as dry and food is more plentiful.


Well, I suspect that the yellow areas in the west, southwest might be the most suitable only for the reasons I mentioned earlier. I don't think the eastern plains would be good because it does get cold enough to freeze/snow. Even the south-central near Raton Pass is probably not safe because they do get some hard snows there due to the altitude. And I'm talking about possibility to survive, not establish a population. For that, I think it'd be the other areas where freezes don't happen. Even Tucson and Sedona in AZ are not likely good places because they too are at altitude.


Oh yeah sorry probably should've mentioned that. Yes I do mean establish a population not just one beardie being able to survive.

And I also don't mean releasing a pet into the wild in colorado I mean multiple dragons being released (wild dragons not captive)
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Re: Beardies being introduced to Colorado

Postby bigsad9000 » Thu Jun 20, 2019 10:44 am

[./quote]Well, I suspect that the yellow areas in the west, southwest might be the most suitable only for the reasons I mentioned earlier.[/quote]

Cool so we've established that. Now I would like to discuss another one of my questions. I'll try and organize my thoughts.

1. So in these special little "sanctuarys" where the weather doesn't get too tough during the winter what would be there primary source of food. Bugs obviously but what bugs are most common in these areas?

2. How common would they be if they are now well established and comfortable with there new habitat? Would they be a common along with other common species of snakes, lizards, ect. Would they be a rare site due to environmental factors or other things? Would there population explode and become a problem for the local ecosystem? You get the point.

3. This is the most interesting in my opinion and the one that could be discussed the most. Would sort of species would emerge through generations of breeding and adaption?

Edit: Oh I almost forgot!
4. What would be there predators?
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Re: Beardies being introduced to Colorado

Postby DorgEndo » Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:14 am

Ignoring the practical matter of how they would survive.

I could see the funny side of bearded dragons being featured on the news. People speculating and then disappointment when dragons do not affect the local mosquito population. Footage of dragons on logs, just laying around. There would be a massive wave of people taking selfies with those wild Colorado dragons. Maybe the hyper religious people are worried these new dragons are demons in disguise, Facebook is plastered with images to avoid the new Satan of Colorado, keep the children safe at all costs. After a few months no one would care anymore, the next big thing would replace the wild dragons of Colorado.
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Re: Beardies being introduced to Colorado

Postby bigsad9000 » Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:19 am

DorgEndo wrote:Ignoring the practical matter of how they would survive.

I could see the funny side of bearded dragons being featured on the news. People speculating and then disappointment when dragons do not affect the local mosquito population. Footage of dragons on logs, just laying around. There would be a massive wave of people taking selfies with those wild Colorado dragons. Maybe the hyper religious people are worried these new dragons are demons in disguise, Facebook is plastered with images to avoid the new Satan of Colorado, keep the children safe at all costs. After a few months no one would care anymore, the next big thing would replace the wild dragons of Colorado.


Oh yeah I could definitely see that happening lol
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Re: Beardies being introduced to Colorado

Postby bigsad9000 » Thu Jun 20, 2019 11:21 am

DorgEndo wrote:Ignoring the practical matter of how they would survive.

I could see the funny side of bearded dragons being featured on the news. People speculating and then disappointment when dragons do not affect the local mosquito population. Footage of dragons on logs, just laying around. There would be a massive wave of people taking selfies with those wild Colorado dragons. Maybe the hyper religious people are worried these new dragons are demons in disguise, Facebook is plastered with images to avoid the new Satan of Colorado, keep the children safe at all costs. After a few months no one would care anymore, the next big thing would replace the wild dragons of Colorado.


I wanna also know your opinion of how they would survive. I encourage everyone to voice there opinion of if and how they would survive.
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Re: Beardies being introduced to Colorado

Postby kingofnobbys » Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:44 pm

bigsad9000 wrote:
Aaradimian wrote:
bigsad9000 wrote:[Click image to enlarge]


So I found this map of the climates of Colorado. Which ones would they thrive in?

I would imagine that they would do far better here that in Australia since I assume it isnt nearly as dry and food is more plentiful.


Well, I suspect that the yellow areas in the west, southwest might be the most suitable only for the reasons I mentioned earlier. I don't think the eastern plains would be good because it does get cold enough to freeze/snow. Even the south-central near Raton Pass is probably not safe because they do get some hard snows there due to the altitude. And I'm talking about possibility to survive, not establish a population. For that, I think it'd be the other areas where freezes don't happen. Even Tucson and Sedona in AZ are not likely good places because they too are at altitude.


Oh yeah sorry probably should've mentioned that. Yes I do mean establish a population not just one beardie being able to survive.

And I also don't mean releasing a pet into the wild in colorado I mean multiple dragons being released (wild dragons not captive)


Don't do it .

They are very likely to be taken by local cats and other predators, or starve , if by some miracle they survive summer and fall , they will definitely die from exposure as soon as the first really cold weather hits.

Not to mention the fact that it's illegal to release animals that are NOT INDIGENOUS into the wild even if there is a poor prospect of them surviving their first winter in the wild.

IMO is a EXCEEDINGLY cruel thing to even consider doing this. I'm horrified that someone would even consider doing what you are proposing to bearded dragons (even if NOT TAME) in a location like Colorado.
There is no way you can justify this cruelty .

This might work in their natural range (in Australia) but NOT anywhere ELSE , OR in the USA. PERIOD.

It's blatantly obvious you know squat about the climate and habitat in their natural range here in Australia.

If you have dragons that you no longer want
rehome them
or give to the local pet shop to sell them ,
or contact the local reptile rescue group or local Herp Club ,
or ask the local vet to euphanise them humanly.
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : Fluffy - 4yr rescued lawnmowing accident victim 14Nov17.
Lucky - cat attack rescue, fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
Wriggles - rescued injured ,thought she was a big lizard, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16. .
Gecko : Godzilla the hatchling GEHYRA GECKO (hatched May 2019)
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