There is no doubt that Tasmania is a beautiful place. With its lush forests, pristine beaches, and snow-capped mountains, the island is a haven for nature lovers. Tasmania is home to a variety of snakes, many of which are venomous. In fact, all of the snakes found in Tasmania are venomous, making them some of the most dangerous snakes in the world. While these snakes can pose a serious threat to humans, there are a few simple safety measures that can be taken to avoid being bitten.
Three species of snakes in Tasmania
In the wild there are three types of snakes in Tasmania:
- Tiger snake - Notechis scutatus
- Lowland copperhead - Austrelaps superbus
- White-lipped snake - Drysdalia coronoides
Tiger snake - Notechis scutatus
Tiger snakes are found on the south-eastern Australian mainland and can range in colour from jet black to sandy grey. They generally have 13-19 rows of scales around the middle of their body and can grow to be 1-1.8 meters long. Male tiger snakes are typically larger than females and have larger heads. Though they are now legally protected in Tasmania, they still face great danger from human activities such as the destruction and fragmentation of their habitat. Tiger snakes do not stay in the same place for more than 15 days, and they become inactive over winter. During the summer months, they are often seen basking in the sun or hunting for food. Tiger snakes feed mainly on mammals and birds, other vertebrates including lizards, smaller snakes, frogs, and occasionally fish. Tiger snakes are highly venomous, and their bite can be fatal to humans if left untreated.
Lowland copperhead - Austrelaps superbus
This snake is typically light grey, reddish, brown, or black in color, and can grow to be 1-1.5 metres in length. Females tend to be on the smaller end of this range, while males can grow up to 1.5 metres. Lowland copperheads are found not only in Tasmania but also in areas around Melbourne. They are just as likely to turn up in someone's backyard as they are in a home. While they are not always aggressive, lowland copperhead snakes can be very dangerous. Their bites can be fatal due to the venom which contains pre and postsynaptic neurotoxins that affect the nervous system.
White-lipped snake - Drysdalia coronoides
The white-lipped snake is the smallest species of snake found in Tasmania. These snakes are usually dark olive green to green-grey in color, with a pale grey under-surface. White-lipped snakes are active hunters and feed mainly on small skinks. However, they will occasionally take frogs as well. These snakes are shy by nature and tend to hide when people are nearby. White-lipped snakes shelter beneath ground debris, rocks, and logs. They can also be found foraging in winter on fine days, as their small size allows them to heat up quickly. White-lipped Snakes are relatively small snakes, with an average length of 8-11 cm. Although they are not aggressive snakes, their venom can cause serious injury to humans, so it is important to be aware of them when out in the bush.
What to do to prevent them from in the house
- Keep Your Yard Clean
One of the best ways to prevent snakes from entering your property is to keep your yard clean. Snakes are attracted to areas that offer them shelter and food, so keeping your yard free of debris, tall grass, and other potential hiding spots will make it less appealing to them. Additionally, regularly removing any food sources from your property, such as fallen fruit or unsecured rubbish, will also help to deter snakes.
- Seal Up Any Openings
Another way to prevent snakes from entering your home or yard is to seal up any openings that they could potentially use to get inside. This includes cracks in your foundation, gaps around doors and windows, and holes in screens. By making it more difficult for snakes to enter your property, you’ll be less likely to have them become a problem.
- Use Snake Repellents
If you’re concerned about snakes on your property, you can also use snake repellents. Snake repellents are devices that mimic large animals, intimidating snakes and causing them to stay away from the area.
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- Call a Professional
If you have a snake on your property and you’re not sure how to deal with it, the best course of action is to call a professional. Wildlife control experts have the training and experience necessary to safely remove snakes from your property and relocate them to a more suitable habitat. Trying to remove a snake yourself can be dangerous, so it’s always best to leave it to the professionals.
What to Do If You Encounter a Snake
If you come across a snake in the wild, it’s important to stay calm and avoid provoking it. Snakes are typically shy creatures that will only attack humans if they feel threatened. If you see a snake on your property, give it space and do not try to capture or kill it yourself. Instead, call a professional who can safely remove it for you
Though they may look dangerous, if you take the proper precautions there is no need to be afraid of snakes in Tasmania. If you are worried about them in your home or yard, there are steps you can take to snake-proof those areas. And if you do encounter a snake, remember that they are more scared of you than you are of them. By following these tips, you can enjoy all that Tasmania has to offer without having to worry about meeting a snake along the way.