While it might not be welcome news to some, Logan’s resident snakes are still on the move in winter.
Luckily, Kingston woman Chantelle Derez is on hand to keep a careful eye on their behaviour.
The University of Queensland PhD Candidate is radio tracking nine urban pythons from her base at the Berrinba Wildlife Sanctuary.
She says it was a lifelong passion for the animals that drove her to become a wildlife carer with Reptile Rehabilitation Queensland.
“When pythons had finished their care with us, or couldn’t be returned to where they came from because of their injuries, the question became, how many survive,” Ms Derez said.
“When I looked into the literature it turns out we don’t know how many translocated snakes survive.
“When I looked into further literature, it turns out we don’t even know the habits of our own urban pythons.”
Ms Derez monitors the locations and body temperatures of the pythons via heat-sensitive radio transmitters.
She said evidence of their movements, even during winter, was demonstrating how most knowledge of snakes is informed by those in captivity and may be different to those living in the wild.
She has received two Logan City Council EnviroGrants to support her work over the past two years.
“I wouldn’t be able to do this without the Logan City Council grant. Last year it paid for my transmitters, which are quite expensive,” Ms Derez said.
“They come from Canada, they are made specifically for each study, for each animal… so that’s one of the reasons without that money this project wouldn’t be possible.”
Council’s Environmental Grants Program (EnviroGrants) has been operating for over 20 years, resulting in more than $1.7 million being invested in the city’s natural environment.
The program provides financial support to community groups, individuals, schools, organisations and wildlife carers throughout the City of Logan.
City Planning, Economic Development and Environment Committee Chairperson, Councillor Jon Raven said Council’s EnviroGrants program was invaluable.
“We’re excited to have 39 amazing local projects funded through our EnviroGrants program in 2020,” Cr Raven said.
“We have some truly motivated and passionate people here in Logan, dedicated to promoting and protecting our beautiful local environment.
“Our successful applicants range from Ms Derez’s ground-breaking studies, to those making wildlife rescue kits, to those replanting trees for the benefit of local ecosystems and habitats.
“Their efforts are a vital part of Logan’s environmental future and I’m thrilled this Council is able to provide such meaningful support.”
Ms Derez encourages those who come across carpet pythons in the Logan area to refrain from harming or moving the animals.
To report an injured reptile, contact Reptile Rehabilitation Queensland on 1300 878 903.