Snakes are more active - but experts say there's no need to fear

AS both snakes and humans become more active as the weather warms up more contact between the two is expected.

Sightings in backyards, parks and well-known bushwalking areas are already on the rise.

As bushwalking is one of the few activities people can do in lockdown, further snake and human interaction is expected.

Nobody wants either a snake or a human to get hurt during these interactions - so ACM contacted Reptile Coordinator for Wildlife Rescue South Coast, Morgan Newans, to get some advice on what you should and should not do.

"If you come across a snake while bushwalking you should give them plenty of room," Ms Newans said.

"Most snakes will take off once they see you approaching, just give them the space to slither off to safety."

Ms Newans said snakes were becoming more active.

"With the weather warming up snakes are coming out of brumation- the period of lower activity due to the cooler winter months," she said.

"They'll become more active as they begin looking for food and mates for the breeding season."

Seeing a snake can be a highlight of a bushwalk and the temptation to get a "selfie" with these amazing animals could be too much to resist.

Ms Newans says yes, get a photo - but from a safe distance.

"A selfie with a snake might put you in too close proximity with them," she said.

"Of course most [snakes] will just try to escape if you're coming too close, but never attempt to catch or handle a snake."

Most of the South Coast snakes are breeding from spring through to summer.

Ms Newans said some snake species will have male combat, a fantastic show as they twist around each other in an attempt to pin each other.

"Snakes however don't become more aggressive towards people during this time, nor do they rear or protect their eggs or young," she said.

"Diamond python females will sit on their eggs in one of few Australian displays of temperature regulation of the nest."

Ms Newans offered the following advice on what to do if a snake comes into your backyard.

"If you have pets, especially a cat or dog, secure them inside," she said.

"The snake will likely move on, however, if you are concerned that the snake isn't moving on, or can't keep your pets contained, you can call your local wildlife group or licensed snake catcher.

"After you make the call, make sure to keep an eye on the snake from a safe distance, so we know where he is or where he has gone.

"We have been getting a few calls for snakes each week for a few weeks now.

"Never try to catch or kill a snake, as this is statistically the largest cause for snakebite to occur. Furthermore, snakes are protected under the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016."

She added people should not take any risks with non-venomous species.

"Diamond pythons are generally really placid snakes, and they are of course non-venomous," she said.

"However, if you get too close or attempt to handle them because they are "harmless", there is the chance of being bitten. Also, it is illegal to interfere with native wildlife.

Ms Newans described snakes as being "incredibly amazing creatures".

"They have so many adaptations that have allowed them to inhabit some of the most extreme habitats and oceans, across nearly every continent," she said.

"They are incredibly vilified and one of the most feared animals worldwide, though I think this is mostly undeserved and a result of cultural conditioning and a widely accepted notion to fear and hate snakes."

This story Snakes are more active - but experts say there's no need to fear first appeared on Goulburn Post.