Date Published: May 2012
The Carpet Python (Morelia spilota) is the most widespread Australian python and is found in areas of all States and Territories of mainland Australia and some offshore islands. The species occupies a broad range of habitats and is found in lowland forest, shrubland, grassland and rocky areas of various altitudes and temperature ranges. Carpet Pythons are also common to highly altered environments such as agricultural and urban areas, and show significant variation in colour and markings, particularly between sub-species.
Carpet Pythons have not established feral populations outside their natural range and are not noted for causing environmental impacts. In suburban areas, Carpet Pythons are noted as a minor pest and may consume aviary birds and their eggs and some domestic pets (eg. cats). Climate modelling suggests that Tasmania's climate is moderately similar to the native range of this species.
The Carpet Python is listed as 'least concern' on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and is commonly traded as a commercial pet internationally and in Australia. This species is listed under Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999, Carpet Pythons are listed as 'specimens taken to be suitable for live import' and require a permit to import into Australia issued under this Act.
In Tasmania, Carpet Pythons are controlled animals under the Nature Conservation Act 2002.
This risk assessment concludes that Carpet Pythons are a serious threat to Tasmania and proposes that imports be restricted to those licence holders approved for keeping serious threat species.
Carpet Python (Morelia spilota) (732Kb)