Thursday, 30 July 2015

Draco gogogoensis - your questions answered

There has been a notable increase in the numbers of dragons spotted in Norfolk recently and our Wildlife Information Service has been busy with many enquiries. Here's our top dragon related questions and answers!

What do dragons eat?
Dragons used to only eat naughty people and goats, but this lead to a lot of obesity and health problems so many now eat vegetables and fruit as well as part of a balanced diet. Chinese lions also like lettuce, but they are not dragons. 

What is the Latin name for dragon?
Draco gogogoensis

Dragons are more common in Norfolk than
bitterns, photo by Nick Goodrum
Are they rare?
There are only around 205 dragons in Norfolk, so they are rarer than stone curlews, but commoner than bitterns. Historical records indicate they were probably never very common.

How do you survey for dragons?
Dragons are quite hard to spot as they can camouflage themselves like a chameleon to blend in. Formerly surveyors would tie a goat or human bait to a post, but this creates health and safety issues, so instead normally we use salad, sometimes with a light olive oil dressing.

Are they protected?
Dragons, like bats, are fully protected against disturbance, but unlike bats they will eat you if woken up. Bear this in mind when shouting "wake up stupid dragon" whilst trying to force feed one an ice cream.

Are dragons the oldest living things in Norfolk?
Maybe - some trees, such as ash coppice, in Norfolk could be 1,000 years old. Some soil fungi and plants like bracken, spreading underground, could be much older.

Why aren't dragons very common?
Dragons have probably declined because of habitat loss and persecution by game keepers, who falsely believed that they ate pheasants. In fact they ate peasants which shows one of the perils of predictive text and why feudalism no longer exists in Norfolk.

Do dragons smoke?
Well they do say there is no dragon fire without smoke so maybe they do. We believe Norfolk dragons choose not to smoke to help reducing CO2 emissions and global warming.

Have you got a dragon or a great crested newt?
Photo by Vernon Conie
There is a baby dragon with a crest living in my pond - what can I do?
Dragons don't normally live in ponds - you may find this is a great crested newt. If it is a dragon you will need a licence from Unnatural England to relocate it and you need to provide suitable replacement habitat e.g. cave or ruined castle.

Do I need a tetanus jab if I get bitten by a dragon?
Yes, as real dragons don't use toothbrushes and their mouths are very unhygienic.

If you have a question about Norfolk's wildlife, get in touch with our Wildlife Information Service on 01603 598 333.
Provided by Chris Smith of Norfolk Wildlife Services who provide ecological advice and wildlife surveys, and who gift aid all profits back to Norfolk Wildlife Trust


  1. Where would be a good place to try and spot a dragon? Is there anywhere near Blakeney or Cley, perhaps where you put out the salad bait? Cheers :-D

    1. Spot a dragon?! Have you not visited Norwich recently, it's riddled with them! I also hear the Museum of Norwich (Bridewell) has a good selection, but unfortunately they are stuffed!

    2. I wish we could tempt one up to Cley...! :-)

  2. We'll be sure to take some lettuce to Norwich when we visit then! Oh, unless there is a ban in feeding them? :-)