Inland Bearded Dragon – environment
Inland Bearded Dragons can be kept in indoor or outdoor enclosures. Regardless of whether they are kept indoors or outdoors, these lizards must be provided with an appropriate temperature in their enclosure.
A temperature gradient of between 22 and 40° C should be provided in enclosures with the basking area being the hottest area at 40°C. It is important to make sure that the basking area is large enough that the animals whole body is heated by the light (two basking lamps situated side by side may be needed to create a big enough basking area to heat the animals whole body) and also allowing the possibility to move away from the direct heat source to a temperature of their choosing that is suitable for them. The basking area should be provided at one end of the enclosure to provide a temperature gradient with one end of the enclosure being the “hot” end and the opposite end being the “cool” end. This gives the lizard the opportunity to choose an appropriate temperature at any given time.
A UV heat lamp or UV fluorescent tube should be used to provide adequate ultra-violet radiation. If using UV tubes, a basking lamp should be provided to create a basking spot. If using a UV lamp, depending on its wattage, it should also provide an adequate amount of heat for the basking area. All lighting should be turned off in the evening to replicate the natural daylight hours, this can be done manually but it is far easier to use a 24 hour plug in timer. It would also be beneficial to have the heat lamp connected to a thermostat to prevent the risk of overheating.
If the enclosure temperature is too cool for a period of time, lizards will be encouraged to hibernate. This is not recommended when Inland Bearded Dragons are kept in classrooms, as it can result in health implications if timing and temperatures are not precise. If lizards begin to hibernate, the enclosure temperature will need to be adjusted accordingly. During hibernation, lizards will eat less if at all and movement will be limited.
Inland Bearded Dragons require very good ventilation. Outdoor enclosures will provide lizards with adequate ventilation. Indoor enclosures should have vents of some description at either ends of the enclosure to provide air flow and ventilation.
Inland Bearded Dragons require a dry environment with low humidity therefore substrate within the enclosure should be kept dry.
Inland Bearded Dragons require a UV light, the heat lamp and UV light source can be combined or separate. Lights should be turned off at night and on during the day to replicate the natural photo-period. It is recommended to use a 24 hour timer to ensure that lights are turned on and off at the appropriate times.
In outdoor enclosures natural lighting should be adequate for UV requirements as long as the enclosure receives direct sunlight for the majority of the day. It is not recommended to keep the Inland Bearded Dragon in outdoor enclosures over the cooler months of the year.