Wildlife Officers Return Protected Reptiles To The Wild

Wildlife Officers Return Protected Reptiles To The Wild

Queensland Minister for Environment Steven Miles

Protected Reptiles Uncovered In Wildlife Operation

Victor P Taffa

Wildlife officers have returned a number of protected reptiles to the wild after animals were seized from properties in the Mount Isa, Gold Coast and Caboolture areas during operations lead by the Queensland Police Service (QPS).

A total of 32 snakes, 31 lizards, two frogs and one spider, protected under the Nature Conservation Act 1992, were uncovered during the recent operations.

Environment Minister Steven Miles said wildlife officers have already returned a number of reptiles to the wild.

“Good news is that some of the seized reptiles, including a knob tail gecko were able to be returned to the wild almost immediately into areas of suitable habitat.” Mr. Miles said.

“Officers from the Environment Department will continue to hold the remaining the reptiles while Police continue their investigations.”

“We hope that many of these reptiles are also ultimately released to the wild, but this may not be possible in some cases if there is a risk of the animals spreading diseases into wild reptile populations, or where the original source of the animals in unknown.” Mr. Miles said.

Department’s Moggill Rehabilitation Centre is currently holding 38 animals with more on the way from Mt. Isa.

In Queensland native animals are protected and taking or possessing them without a permit is against the law, with penalties of up to $378,450 or 2 years imprisonment for an individual.

“If you’re thinking of keeping native wildlife it’s very important to ensure that you deal with a licensed provider and that you have all the necessary permits.” Mr. Miles said.

“Many native Australian animals are commercially attractive and the illegal take and trade of them is a significant issue across Australia and internationally.”

“Wildlife officers constantly work to monitor and analyse wildlife data and intelligence information in its efforts to track down and prevent illegal wildlife activities.”

“Environment Department will continue to take strong action against people who deal unlawfully with protected wildlife.” Mr. Miles said.

Members of the public are encouraged to report incidents of wildlife related crime or incidences where they believe wildlife related crime has occurred.

Reports can be made to EHP by ringing 1300 130 372 or through Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.