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Snake awareness

News release
18 October 2017

Are factors including the weather and mice numbers likely to have an impact on snake numbers?

Indirectly, yes. The number of snakes hatched isn’t really affected by these factors, but the number of juvenile snakes that survive is highly dependent on weather and food availability.

Where are people likely to find snakes at this time of the year?

Snakes are a normal part of a healthy environment and occur throughout our towns and cities as well as in bushland and dunes. Snakes like sunny spots where they can warm up, shady spots to keep out of the sun on very hot days, and secluded spots where they can hide from threats like humans. Secluded spots might include behind the wood heap, among the painting rags at the back of the shed, or even in a gum boot that’s been left outside.

Never put your hands in places you can’t see, never leave your boots outside, and if you do, check before putting them on.

Snakes require food, water and shelter, and anywhere that offers all three of these is a potential snake habitat. For example, the seed on offer in aviaries attracts mice, and the mice in turn attract snakes. To reduce the threat of snakes on your property, control rats and mice, clean up junk in the shed or yard to reduce available shelter, and keep water sources like pet bowls away from the house or inside.

What should people do if they come across a snake within the city or town limits?

Leave them alone. Snakes will usually pass through without causing any problems. If the snake poses a genuine threat, it is legal to kill it – but that is the most dangerous thing you can do. Most people who get bitten by a snake are trying to kill it or catch it at the time. If you are not thoroughly experienced and confident, find someone who is to remove it for you. If the snake is cornered, it may become aggressive. In this case, move slowly away and don’t approach it.

What are the species to watch out for on Lower Eyre Peninsula?

Across Eyre Peninsula there have been 19 different species of snakes that have been identified. A list has been provided included common and scientific names. Some are venomous, some are not – however most people cannot tell one species of snake from another so just assume any snake is venomous and leave it alone.

1. Common death adder (Acanthophis antarticus)

2. Narrow-banded snake (Brachyurophis fasciolatus)

3. Half girdled snake (Brachyurophis semifasciatus)

4. Desert whipsnake (Demansia reticulate)

5. Master’s snake (Drysdalia masterii)

6. Bardick (Echiopsis curta)

7. Red-napped snake (Furina diadema)

8. Eastern tiger snake (Notechis scutatus)

9. Mitchell’s short-tailed snake (Parasuta nigriceps)

10. Mallee black-headed snake (Parasuta spectablis)

11. Mulga snake (Pseudechis australis)

12. Dugite (Pseudonaja affinis)

13. Patch-nosed brown snake (Pseudonaja aspidorhyncha)

14. Peninsula brown snake (Pseudonaja inframacula)

15. Gwardar (Pseudonaja mengdeni)

16. Five-ringed snake (Pseudonaja modesta)

17. Eastern brown snake (Pseudonaja textilis)

18. Desert banded snake (Simoselaps bertholdi)

19. Curl snake (Suta suta)

More information

Communications and Engagement Officer

(08) 8688 3111

DEWNR.NREPAdmin@sa.gov.au