Case studies of well-documented snake reintroductions are limited, despite their potential value for conservation and ecosystem recovery. The Endangered woma Aspidites ramsayi is a large boid snake that has declined considerably and is now threatened throughout much of central Australia. We describe a trial release of captive-bred womas into the feral predator-free Arid Recovery Reserve in northern South Australia. All of the reintroduced womas were killed within 4 months, with predation by the mulga snake Pseudechis australis confirmed or implied in all cases. Lessons learned for the conditioning of captive-bred snakes for wild release and the role of the mulga snake in structuring Australian arid-zone snake assemblages are discussed.
- Arid zone