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Short-nosed Sea Snake

Australia

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Aipysurus apraefrontalis

Endangered

  • Commercial prawn trawling activities and the increased boat traffic that comes with it have led to deaths from injuries or drowning
    Effects of global warming on its habitat.
  • Water pollution coming from oil spills, dredging activities, other noise disturbance also negatively impacts the population of the Short-nosed Sea Snake.

The Short-Nosed Sea Snake, also called Sahul Reef Snake, is an endemic reptile species to Ashmore Reef in the Indian Ocean and to the Hibernia Reef in northern Western Australia. It spends most of its time in water around the edge or under coral reefs – up to a maximum of two hours – before coming to the surface in order to breathe.

The rise in ocean water temperature due to global warming is an obvious cause of coral bleaching, which seriously affects the habitat of Short-Nosed Sea Snakes as they rely on its richly diverse ecosystem like many countless marine creatures. Furthermore, the decline in number of Short-Nosed Sea Snakes is believed by scientists to be also attributed to their inability to tolerate more than 36°C water temperature.

Another threat to the survival of this species is the rise of commercial prawn fishing which makes them prone to being accidentally caught within trawl nets or hit by motor boats, which most of time will lead to death by drowning or fatal injuries.