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Australia is renowned for its diverse and unique snake fauna. It’s home to approximately 170 species of land snakes and around 30 species of sea snakes. These snake species inhabit various environments across the country, from coastal regions to deserts and the tropical north to temperate southern areas. The most well-known species include the Eastern Brown Snake, Tiger Snake, Taipan, Death Adder, and Red-Bellied Black Snake. Notably, Australia is home to 21 of the 25 most venomous snakes in the world, with the Inland Taipan holding the title for the world’s most venomous snake based on the toxicity of its venom.

Despite the notorious reputation of Australian snakes, they play a crucial role in the country’s ecosystems, helping to maintain balance by controlling pests and serving as predators in their own right. While venomous snakes are a potential risk, they generally prefer to avoid humans if possible. They are responsible for only a few deaths each year, especially compared to other common causes of injury or death. Furthermore, due to advances in antivenom development, fatalities from snake bites have significantly decreased. It’s important to remember to give snakes their space, to understand the risks in snake-prone areas, and to seek immediate medical attention if bitten.

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Australia is home to several of the most venomous snake species in the world. Here are some of the most venomous ones:

  1. Inland Taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus): Also known as the “fierce snake”, the Inland Taipan is considered the most venomous terrestrial snake in the world. It’s native to the arid regions of central Australia.
  2. Eastern Brown Snake (Pseudonaja textilis): The Eastern Brown Snake is the second most venomous terrestrial snake globally. It’s found along the East Coast of Australia and is responsible for more deaths from snakebites in Australia than any other species due to its distribution in populated areas.
  3. Coastal Taipan (Oxyuranus scutellatus): This species, found in the coastal regions of northern and eastern Australia, is also highly venomous and has a swift and accurate strike.
  4. Tiger Snake (Notechis scutatus): Found in southern regions of Australia and Tasmania, Tiger snakes possess a potent neurotoxin, coagulants, haemolysins, and myotoxins, which can cause paralysis and damage to the blood and muscles.
  5. Death Adder (Acanthophis antarcticus): Found across Australia, the Death Adder’s venom contains highly toxic neurotoxins leading to rapid paralysis.

Despite their venomous nature, these snakes typically prefer to avoid humans when possible and usually only bite in self-defence. Many bites can be prevented by leaving snakes alone and keeping a safe distance when encountered.

If you encounter a snake in the wild, here are some steps you should follow:

  1. Stay Calm and Don’t Panic: Snakes usually prefer to avoid confrontation and will not attack unless they feel threatened. Rapid movements can startle the snake, so remain calm and still.
  2. Keep Your Distance: Maintain a safe distance from the snake – at least a few meters away. Do not try to approach, capture, or provoke the snake.
  3. Slowly Back Away: If possible, slowly and calmly back away from the snake. Avoid sudden movements that might frighten the snake and provoke an attack.
  4. Do Not Try to Handle the Snake: Even if you believe the snake is not venomous, do not attempt to handle it. Identification can be difficult, and even non-venomous snakes can bite if threatened.
  5. Inform Others: If you’re in a populated area or a busy trail, calmly inform others about the snake’s presence, and encourage them to give it space.
  6. Allow the Snake to Leave: Most snakes will leave the area independently if given time and space. If the snake does not go, and you believe it poses a risk, contact local wildlife control or a professional snake handler.

Remember, most snake bites occur when people try to capture or kill snakes. Respecting their space and observing from a distance is the safest action.

Australia is home to many venomous snake species, but actual snake bites are relatively rare, and fatalities are even more occasional. On average, around 3,000 snakebite incidents are reported annually, with 300 to 500 requiring antivenom treatment.

The number of snake bites may be higher due to unreported incidents, but snake bites are not a common occurrence compared to the total population. Deaths from snake bites are infrequent, averaging 1-2 per year, thanks to the effective treatment strategies available, including prompt first aid response and a range of antivenoms.

Most snake bites occur when people accidentally step on snakes or deliberately try to kill or capture them. Therefore, understanding how to avoid contact with snakes and what to do in case of a snake bite is essential to outdoor safety, particularly in rural and bushland areas.

Yes, snakes can and do enter residential homes and urban areas, mainly if these areas are located near their natural habitats, such as bushland, forests, or bodies of water. This is more likely to occur during warmer months when snakes are more active or in extended dry periods when snakes are searching for water. Snakes might enter homes or yards in pursuit of prey, like rodents, or search for a cool, shaded place to escape the heat.

Common entry points for snakes include open doors, windows, vents, or small gaps or cracks in your home’s foundation or walls. It’s not uncommon to find snakes hiding in garages, basements, or cool and dark areas of the house.

If you find a snake in your home, it’s important not to panic. Keep your distance, and do not attempt to capture or harm the snake. Instead, contact a local wildlife rescue service or a professional snake catcher who can safely remove and relocate the snake.

There are several steps you can take to make your property less attractive to snakes and reduce the likelihood of them entering your home:

  • Maintain Your Yard: Regularly mow your lawn and trim back vegetation. Snakes are more likely to inhabit areas with tall grass and dense shrubs where they can hide and hunt.
  • Remove Potential Hiding Places: Clean up any debris in your yard, such as piles of wood, leaves, or compost, and keep storage areas tidy and off the ground if possible. These can provide shelter for snakes.
  • Rodent Control: Rodents are a significant food source for many snakes. Keeping rodent populations in check’ll make your property less appealing to snakes.
  • Seal Entry Points: Check your home for gaps or cracks that snakes could slither through. Pay particular attention to doors, windows, vents, and where plumbing enters the house. Seal any holes you find.
  • Install Snake-Proof Fencing: While not always practical, certain types of fencing can deter snakes. The fence should be buried and angled outwards to prevent snakes from crawling under or over it.
  • Use Snake Repellents: Some commercially available products claim to repel snakes, but their effectiveness can vary. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions if using these.
  • Keep Food Sources Indoors: Don’t leave pet food or bird seed outside, as these can attract rodents, which in turn can attract snakes.
  • Maintain Water Features: Keep a pond or pool well-maintained as these can attract snakes, particularly in hot weather.
  • Get Professional Help: If snakes are a common problem on your property, consider contacting a pest management professional specialising in snake control. They can provide further advice tailored to your specific situation.

Remember, snakes are a vital part of the ecosystem and play an essential role in controlling pests. In many places, they are protected by law, so killing them is not an option or a solution to managing them on your property. The aim should be to deter them from residence rather than eradicate them.

Snakes play a crucial role in maintaining the balance of Australia’s ecosystems. As both predators and prey, they are an essential part of the food chain.

  • Predators: Snakes help control the populations of their prey species. They eat various animals, including rodents, birds, lizards, frogs, and other snakes. By keeping these populations in check, snakes prevent overgrazing and further environmental damage, help control disease spread, and promote biodiversity.
  • Prey: Snakes themselves are a food source for various Australian animals like birds of prey (like hawks and eagles), other snakes, lizards, crocodiles, and mammals like the dingo. Some animals even specialise in hunting snakes.
  • Indicators of Ecosystem Health: Because snakes are sensitive to changes in their environment, their presence, absence, or population size can provide valuable information about the health of an ecosystem. For instance, a decrease in the snake populations might indicate changes in the people of prey species or alterations to their habitat.

Despite their sometimes fearsome reputation, snakes are vital to Australia’s rich biodiversity. Their conservation is essential for their own survival and the overall health and balance of the ecosystems they inhabit.

Please note that these FAQs provide general information, and we encourage you to contact our team directly for more specific and detailed answers based on your unique situation.

Snake safety is crucial in areas where snakes are prevalent. Here are some safety tips to help avoid snake encounters and handle situations if you come across a snake:

  1. Be Aware of Your Surroundings: Snakes can be found in a variety of habitats. Be careful when stepping over logs, rocks, or when walking in tall grass as snakes might be hiding there.
  2. Avoid Disturbing Snakes: If you see a snake, maintain a safe distance (at least 5 meters). Never try to catch, kill, or handle the snake. Most snake bites occur when people attempt to interfere with the snake.
  3. Dress Appropriately: If you’re in an area known for snakes, wear appropriate clothing. Long pants and sturdy, closed-toe shoes can provide some protection against snake bites.
  4. Keep Your Campsite Clean: If you’re camping, ensure that your campsite is clean and free from food scraps to avoid attracting rodents, which in turn can attract snakes.
  5. Educate Yourself and Others: Learn about the types of snakes that live in your area or the places you plan to visit. Teach your children about snake safety as well.
  6. Use a Torch at Night: Many types of snakes are more active during the night. If you’re walking around at night, especially in a natural area, use a torch to watch your path.
  7. In Case of a Snake Bite: Stay calm and call for medical help immediately. Try to remember the colour and shape of the snake to help identify the species but do not attempt to catch or kill it. Apply a pressure immobilization bandage if you can and try to remain as still as possible until help arrives. Do not wash the wound, as residual venom can help in identification for antivenom treatment.
  8. Pet Safety: Keep your pets on a leash when walking in areas with known snake activity, and consider snake aversion training for dogs. If your pet gets bitten, take them to a vet immediately.

Remember, all snakes should be considered potentially dangerous and should not be approached or handled by non-experts. Most snakes will not attack unless they feel threatened, so giving them their space is the safest course of action.

Australia is home to a diverse range of snake species, with around 170 land and 30 sea snake species recorded. Here are a few notable ones:

  • Eastern Brown Snake (Pseudonaja textilis): Considered the second most venomous terrestrial snake in the world, it’s found along the East Coast of Australia. It’s usually brown but can vary in colour.
  • Inland Taipan (Oxyuranus microlepidotus): Known as the world’s most venomous land snake, the Inland Taipan is native to the arid regions of central Australia. It typically prefers remote locations and is not commonly encountered by humans.
  • Coastal Taipan (Oxyuranus scutellatus): This species, found in the coastal regions of northern and eastern Australia, is also highly venomous. It can reach lengths of up to 2 meters.
  • Tiger Snake (Notechis scutatus): Found in southern regions of Australia and Tasmania, tiger snakes are highly variable in colour but often banded like a tiger. They’re highly venomous but prefer to escape rather than attack.
  • Death Adder (Acanthophis antarcticus): Found across Australia, the Death Adder is known for its ambush hunting style, quick strike, and highly toxic venom.
  • Red-Bellied Black Snake (Pseudechis porphyriacus): Commonly found in the eastern states of Australia, this snake is easily recognised by its glossy black top body and red or pink belly.
  • Common or Green Tree Snake (Dendrelaphis punctulatus): Widespread in Australia, these snakes are harmless to humans. They vary in colour but are often green and comfortable on the ground and in trees.

Remember, while many Australian snakes are venomous, they generally prefer to avoid human encounters and pose a low risk if they are not provoked or threatened.

Removing a snake from your property or area is not a task to be taken lightly. Snakes, particularly venomous ones, can risk human safety, so it’s vital to handle such situations cautiously. In general, it is highly recommended to involve professionals in snake removal. Here are some steps to follow if you encounter a snake:

  1. Do Not Try to Handle the Snake Yourself: This is particularly important for venomous species. Many bites occur when untrained individuals attempt to catch or kill a snake. Stay a safe distance from the snake (at least a few metres).
  2. Keep Children and Pets Away: Ensure the area around the snake is clear of children, pets, and others at risk.
  3. Contact a Professional: In Australia, there are professional snake catchers and wildlife control agencies who are trained to handle and relocate snakes safely. Many regions have a local snake catcher or a wildlife rescue service that can be called in such situations.
  4. Monitor the Snake from a Safe Distance: While waiting for the professional to arrive, keep an eye on the snake from a safe distance so you can inform the snake catcher of its location.
  5. Do Not Attempt to Kill the Snake: It’s both dangerous and, in many places, illegal to kill snakes in Australia as they are protected by law.

Remember, most snakes prefer to avoid confrontation with humans. They will usually move away on their own if given space and not provoked or threatened. If a snake becomes a regular visitor, consider getting a professional assessment of your property to identify and modify features that may attract them.