Pale-headed Snake (Hoplocephalus bitorquatus)

Species Action Statement

This species has been assigned to the Landscape species management stream under the Saving our Species (SoS) program.

Justification for allocation to this management stream

The key threats to this species are at the landscape scale; fragmentation and loss of large hollow-bearing trees and degradation of riparian habitat across its geographic range.

Conservation status

Management objectives

This action statement aims to ensure that the species is secure in the wild in NSW and that its NSW geographic range is extended or maintained.

Species sightings and management sites across NSW

The map below displays the species’ distribution in NSW, based upon the species’ geographic range, habitat distribution or area of occupancy (to as high a resolution as available data allow, using a range of data sources).

Information about the species’ habitat and ecology is available here.

The map may also display one or more management sites where management of important populations is underway. More information is available in the tables below.


The species occurs in the following IBRA (Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation for Australia) regions in NSW:

South Eastern Queensland
NSW North Coast
Darling Riverine Plains
Brigalow Belt South

Proportion of the species' distribution on reserve

8% of the species' distribution occurs on reserve (within NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service estate).

Critical actions for this species

The key threats to the viability of landscape-managed species are loss, fragmentation and degradation of habitat, and widespread pervasive factors such as impacts of climate change and disease. Many of these threats are addressed by NSW planning, native vegetation, and biodiversity legislation, policy and programs including the offsets program (BioBanking, NSW Biodiversity Offsets Policy for Major Projects), Biodiversity Certification, management of environmental water and reservation under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.

Threats to this species are outlined here.

The actions listed in the action toolbox are supplementary to NSW legislation, policy and programs and can be used by stakeholders, where applicable to guide management at a site, regional or state scale.

Action toolbox

Action DescriptionScale
Negotiate agreements with relevant landholders, particularly in-perpetuity covenants or stewardship agreements, that promote the maintenance and restoration of red gum/coolabah/black box woodlands in riparian zones and adjacent floodplains, particularly where hollows in living trees are abundant. Area
Undertake plantings of suitable hollow-bearing trees (e.g. red gum, coolabah, black box) in riparian and floodplain areas where habitat has been lost or fragmented. Target planting to increase connectivity and buffer areas of existing old-growth woodland habitat. Site
Erect suitably designed nest-boxes (microbat/glider style) in locations lacking tree hollows (e.g. young stands), and in areas in or close to known riparian habitat, to provide shelter for the species. Ensure that nest boxes are monitored regularly to evaluate their uptake and effectiveness. Site
Liaise with relevant land and fire managers where known populations or habitat occurs, to ensure that prescribed burns that may affect riparian or floodplain habitat are cool burns and do not kill hollow-bearing trees or remove cohorts of smaller hollow-bearing species over large areas. Area
Raise awareness in and work with utility companies and their contractors to ensure that any disturbance due to easements (e.g. power lines) such as clearing or pruning trees or removing burls is done sensitively, to minimise the loss of tree hollows and maintain connectivity between known habitat patches. Site

How will this species be managed?

Key management sites for this threatened species are being identified by the Office of Environment and Heritage and other program partners, where feasible, cost-effective and beneficial to the threatened species. Currently, no management sites have been identified for this threatened species.

Are you or is someone you know doing conservation work for this species or in this area?

Contact us to tell us about the work. Your input will help OEH evaluate the status of threatened species and provide a broader picture of conservation work across NSW.