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Native reptiles seized by wildlife officers

Four western netted dragons held by Wildlife officer Chris Phillips that were found in the parcels intercepted.
Four western netted dragons held by Wildlife officer Chris Phillips that were found in the parcels intercepted. Peter Nicholas/DBCA

Almost one hundred native reptiles, including a highly venomous death adder snake, have been intercepted in the Goldfields before they could be sold illegally.

Wildlife officers from the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA) seized six parcels that contained 94 reptiles in Kalgoorlie last week.

The reptiles could attract up to $150,000 on the black market.

Wildlife officer Matt Swan said 21 different reptile species were recovered from the failed smuggling operation.

“These included barking geckos, Stimson’s pythons and bobtail lizards, as well as venomous species such as the mulga snake and whip snake,” Mr Swan said.

“The reptiles have come from locations across WA, including the Wheatbelt, Goldfields, Midwest and Pilbara.

“Posting animals in packages is not only illegal but cruel and inhumane.”

Five of the reptiles were either dead by the time these parcels were intercepted, or have since died.

The investigation is continuing.

Under the Wildlife Conservation Act 1950, taking protected fauna can incur a $4000 penalty per species.

Under the new Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016, the penalty for taking fauna will be up to $20,000 per species.

The new penalties will help deter future wildlife crimes and provide much greater protection for the State’s native animals, particularly threatened species.

People with information about the illegal removal of reptiles or who notice any suspicious activity should call the Wildcare Helpline on 9474 9055.

Media contact: DBCA Media 9219 9999
Facebook / Twitter / Instagram: @waparkswildlife

Last modified on Friday, 25 August 2017 15:02