As Autumn creeps in to Winter, snake handlers around the region are looking forward to a well earned rest.
Wildcare has attended a large number of callouts across the region in the past few months, as well as giving telephone advice to people troubles by venomous visitors.
“It has been a very interesting snake season. In November and December we ran our well-known and over-subscribed snake rescue course,” said Wayne, Wildcare’s Snake Coordinator. “We aim to get all snake handler volunteers to complete a refresher course to keep them current and motivated.”
The group trained and refreshed over 70 volunteers, including a group from the National Zoo and Aquarium. He added that the groups needs new volunteers
“This year, as well as the usual callouts to remove snakes from houses, sheds, bird netting and pathways, we had two instances of snakes caught in humane mouse traps – essentially a steel box with a one way door,” said Wayne. “The snake goes in to investigate a trapped mouse; gets a free dinner; but is then trapped. One brown was successfully released, the other, not so lucky. He was in extremely poor condition and could have been in the trap for several weeks during the hot stretch of 40-degree days.”
Wildcare gave us some top tips to avoid Autumn snake suprises:
- Clear up your property of loose piles of debris that look inviting, as a wintering place for snakes
- Turn over compost heaps, keeping them well aerated and less of a target for mice to setup a nest
- Get bird netting off the ground – perhaps install mouse mesh around the base of things you want to protect, with netting draped higher up. This way you can still protect your fruit/vegies, but won’t trap lizards and snakes
Despite their nasty reputation, most snakes are actually scared by people. Snakes are protected under Australian law.