ABSTRACT

The Pygmy Copperhead Austrelaps labialis is South Australia’s only endemic snake, being native to the Adelaide Mount Lofty Ranges and Fleurieu Peninsula; with an additional allopatric population on Kangaroo Island. Within the AMLR, it inhabits stringybark forests and adjacent dense vegetation, occupying a total area of ~150 km2. Here, we document a newly discovered and seemingly isolated population at the north-eastern extent of its known mainland distribution. We visited Lobethal Bushland Park from 2013–2018 and observed snakes of varying age and size, while documenting their ecology and behaviour. In late 2019, the site was decimated by catastrophic wildfire and its persistence here remains unknown. Alongside descriptions of our observations, we suggest measures for the conservation of this vulnerable population in its remnant habitat if it has survived the impacts of wildfire.

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