Predation by snakes thwarts trial reintroduction of the endangered woma python Aspidites ramsayi

  • Published source details Read J.L., Johnston G.R. & Morley T.P. (2011) Predation by snakes thwarts trial reintroduction of the endangered woma python Aspidites ramsayi. Oryx, 45, 505-512.


This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Release captive-bred reptiles into the wild: Snakes & lizards

Action Link
Reptile Conservation
  1. Release captive-bred reptiles into the wild: Snakes & lizards

    A study in 2007 in a site of mixed sand dunes, Acacia spp. and shrubland in South Australia (Read et al. 2011) found that releasing captive-bred woma pythons Aspidites ramsayi into a large, fenced enclosure was unsuccessful due to predation. All pythons died between 41 and 123 days after release, all most likely due to attack or predation by mulga snakes Pseudechis australis. Two snakes had lost weight (10–37% of release mass) but were not considered emaciated. Nine captive-bred sibling pythons (two females, seven males, hatched in 2002) had radio transmitters surgically implanted in April 2007. They were released in September 2007 (weighing 890–1,350 g) into a large enclosure (60 km2) free of non-native mammalian predators. The snakes were from a wild stock originating from close to the release site. Four snakes were released into a release-pen, but all escaped within two months. Pythons were located daily until death.

    (Summarised by: Maggie Watson, William Morgan)

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