Animal Diaries Archive
13 July 2007
Australia, as we know it, is abundant with many different species of animals, many of which the general public know little or nothing about. At Australia Zoo we try hard to bring out the Wildlife Warrior in everyone who walks through the front gates. Mixing education, conservation and the challenge to make a difference is something the Roving team encourages every day.
One overlooked endangered little battler we have here at the zoo, and are helping to get noticed is the Woma Python. Like many animals out there in the wild, their main threat comes from land clearing and habitat destruction. By removing the native vegetation, people remove hiding places and the food supply of the Woma Python. Due to the fact that this little guy is found primarily in semi-arid environments of Central south-west Australia, we cannot risk this native area being lost, as we would put this snake, along with many other species in the danger zone.
Other threats come from introduction of feral species such as the cat, dog and fox. These have had a dramatic impact on our native flora and fauna. While having to deal with these introduced predators, as well as our very own native predators the dingo, birds, goannas and other snakes, this python has indeed earned the title of an Aussie Battler. It is important to remember that without our native predators, like the Woma Python, the natural balance of the mammal, ground bird and reptile populations on which it feeds, could well be in disarray.
To insure that this will not happen, Steve and Terri Irwin set aside about 60,000 acres of Brigalow Scrub, (excellent Woma territory) in order to conserve this endangered species. There have been many breeding attempts to increase numbers for future release back into protected areas. The Reptile team here at Australia Zoo have had great success in their captive breeding program which is a positive step in the right direction for the future of this snake.
The Roving team hopes that in the future, with education, understanding and the interaction with the public at the Zoo, the Woma Python will get the recognition it needs to be a species that survives.