25 May 2011
University of Queensland PhD student, Melissa Bruton, with help from Australia Zoo, is getting up close and personal with some slithery friends in the southern Brigalow Belt region of Queensland and New Sales Wales.
Geography, Planning and Environment student Melissa, was awarded a grant by the Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland to support her research, discovering how reptiles are effected when their environment is subject to agricultural clearing.
Australia Zoo Wildlife Veterinarians have been on the ground with Melissa, implanting several pythons with radio-transmitters to reveal information about their movements. So far, eight Woma Pythons are being tracked, including large snakes of approximately 2m in length.
These snakes will be tracked for a twelve month period to see how often and how far Woma Pythons move and the different habitats they use.
Ms Kelsey Engle Australia Zoo Curator, hopes Melissa's vital research will play an important role in preventing the eastern form of the Woma Python, found in the Brigalow Belt, following the same devastating footsteps of its western relative, now critically endangered.
"The biology of this Woma group is a critical key in the future of its survival and we, alongside students just like Melissa from the University of Queensland are working hard to save this gorgeous creature." Kelsey said.
"For the past ten years we have been breeding this subspecies of Woma Python with the hope of releasing them onto secure, protected habitat in the future. We hope that our continued efforts, along with Melissa's research go a long way to re-establishing populations of this highly endangered and gentle slithery friend".
You too can assist in Australia Zoo's fight for wildlife conservation by donating to Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors.
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