EnviroGrants puts new bite into snake study

A picture of University of Queensland PhD Candidate Chantelle Derez, who is radio tracking nine urban pythons from her base at the Berrinba Wildlife Sanctuary, thanks to a Logan City Council EnviroGrant.
University of Queensland PhD Candidate Chantelle Derez is radio tracking nine urban pythons from her base at the Berrinba Wildlife Sanctuary, thanks to a Logan City Council EnviroGrant.

Published: 26th June 2020

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.

More information on Logan City Council’s EnviroGrants program is available at logan.qld.gov.au/environment/envirogrants

2020 EnviroGrant Recipients




Natura Pacific Pty Ltd

Back from the Brink - Greater Glider


Wildcare Australia Inc

Glove Box Buddies - free basic wildlife rescue kits


Wildcare Australia Inc.

Printed educational material to maximise positive outcomes for wildlife


Trixie Benbrook

Wildlife Carer of Native Birds


Bats Qld (Flying Foxes & Microbats) Inc.

Educational Workshops and Networking Events for Bat Carers


Bat Conservation and Rescue QLD

Bat Awareness Educational Material


Bats Qld (Flying Foxes & Microbats) Inc.

ICU's for Baby Bats


Alison Plant

Provision of Rescue and Care for Sick, Injured and Orphaned Flying Foxes


Caring for Wildlife and Carers Inc

Bobucks rehabilitation 2020


Albert Valley Wilderness Society

Bee Hotel Workshops for Schools and Logan Community


Richard Knevitt

Bat Pregnant Mum and Pup Rescue


Jill Fechner

Feeding Reptiles in Rehab


Leanne Robertson

Flying Fox Feeding Frenzy


Francine Stewart

Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation


Stacey Robertson

Battie Banquet


Reptile Rehabilitation Queensland

Construction of an outdoor Dry-Dock and Pond TURTLE Rehabilitation Enclosure.


Annette Bird

Funding for feeding rehabilitating injured or sick reptiles and amphibians


Wendy Bateman

2020-2021 Orphan bat feeding


Michele de Villiers

Rehabilitation of sick, injured and orphaned koalas


Joerg Rockstroh

Feed the Logan Flying Foxes


Anja Rockstroh

Feed the Cornubia Flying Foxes


Oxley Creek Catchment Association

Nest Box Workshops and Story Map


Diana Kolb

Wildlife Rehabilitation


Bob Wiley

Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation


Jessie Ovenden

Food and supplies require for Wildlife Rehabilitation


Conservation Volunteers Australia

Citizen Science and Conservation at Springwood State High


Conservation Volunteers Australia

Shailer Park Koala Conservation


Conservation Volunteers Australia

Riparian Restoration in Tamborine


Natura Pacific Pty Ltd

Thermal Drone Surveys of a Vulnerable Mammal: The Greater Glider


Conservation Volunteers Australia

Koala Habitat Restoration at Berrinba Sanctuary


Chantelle Derez

Translocation of urban pythons


Martin Luna Juncal (Griffith University)

Envisioning Better Farming and Healthier Rivers


Eleanor Lyons (private landholder)

Habitat Restoration & Protection of Critically Endangered Melaleuca irbyana


John Lamport (private landholder)

Lantana clearing eco restoration for wildlife


Katie Swatton (private landholder)

Application for assistance with erosion control and weed management


Emily Cooper (private landholder)

Eco Restoration


Chisolm Catholic College

Chisholm Sustainability Garden


Bulimba Creek Catchment Association

Weed control at Mt Elliott


Harry & Christine Burridge (private landholder)

125-141 Pennine Drive restoration


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