A 39-year-old man has been ordered to pay more than $8000 after he was found guilty of possessing dozens of native reptiles and amphibians, including several highly venomous snakes.
South Hedland man Adrian Scott Elsum has been found guilty of seven charges under the Wildlife Conservation Act, including the unlawful possession of 11 desert death adders, 52 Stimson's pythons, seven woma pythons and 20 northern tree frogs.
He was fined $4500 and ordered to pay $3700 in court costs.
The animals were seized by the Department of Environment and Conversation in February 2010 during a search of Elsum's home.
DEC wildlife officer Matt Swan said the collections of snakes and frogs had an estimated market value of about $50,000.
Mr Swan said all of the animals seized were protected fauna in WA.
The woma python, which is threatened by the impact of feral species, was specially protected.
"The penalty handed down to Elsum this week serves as a warning to anyone who might be tempted to take protected fauna unlawfully or who have reptiles in their possession illegally," Mr Swan said.
"Additionally, licensed keepers must also ensure they abide by the conditions of their licence."
Mr Swan said the desert death adders were returned to their natural habitat, but the other animals could not be released because of the risk of introducing diseases to wild populations.
Under the Wildlife Conservation Act, the maximum penalty for possessing protected fauna is $4000 and $10,000 for specially protected fauna.Anyone who has information about the illegal removal of reptiles of who notices suspicious activity suggesting reptiles are being kept illegally are urged to contact DEC's Wildlife Watch hotline on 1800 449 453.
'The West Australian' is a trademark of West Australian Newspapers Limited 2013.
All rights reserved.
Select your state to see news for your area.