Rapallo Groups’ Environmental division is well known for conducting varying levels of studies and in-depth surveys for flora and fauna. We regularly come across many species of snake, particularly in the harsh and remote Australian regions, but we can not emphasize enough how important it is to know your environment, and what it means to be aware of your surroundings.
With the weather warming up from October through to March each year, it is imperative to remember to not only look after ourselves, but to be aware of the native fauna that starts to make more appearances in our surroundings during this time.
Australia has one of the most diverse and colourful variety of snakes, having over 160 species of land and sea snakes happily residing in our fair lands and waters.
Unfortunately for Australians, we host the top 10 deadliest snakes on the planet.
But more favourably for the West Aussies, several of these highly venomous species, such as the Red Bellied Black Snake, Copperhead and the Eastern Brown Snake are only found in the Eastern states of Australia.
Click here to find the species-types in your WA region.
Snakes are not naturally inclined to maliciously attack, rather opting to escape any perceived threats unless cornered.
Due to the education and information provided to the general public over the last few decades, the number of snake bites has decreased substantially.
With the development of anti-venom and treatment options, fatalities are now very rare – between 3-5 deaths each year being reported.
The Eastern Brown Snake (pictured right) is responsible for the most deaths in Australia. The Eastern Brown Snake can cope and even thrive in areas of human disturbance, and its natural range happens to include some of the most populated parts of the country, this species is probably encountered more than any other type of snake.
Preventative measures and duty of care for your employees
It is easy to become complacent and disregard vital information, but safety is paramount in the warmer months.
Every person should take time to investigate and research some of the hazards which these “Locals” can cause, and employers should perform their duty of care each season.
Rapallo has assisted many clients over the last 30 years by providing information of relevant species in fauna surveys, thereby assisting in the duty of care for personnel on sites.
1. Research and know the region you’re working or living in.
2. Check unusual places if you suspect snake activity. Snakes can be out in the open, but quite often are found in small, warm and unusual places, even inside your home and outbuildings. On mine sites, snakes love the laundry block. Rethink cruising about in thongs.
3. Prepare for the season! Trim and cut back long grasses, have a good tidy-up in your yard or at work and decrease the options a snake may have to coil up and hide. Get rid of their food supply – try to eliminate rodents in your area to discourage snakes from coming close to you.
4. Whilst walking or working, Personal Protective clothing or equipment could potentially save your life. PPE – Long pants, boots, strong torches at night etc.
5. Do not approach any snakes, even if you know they are not venomous. Try to stay still, with no sudden movements. Don’t corner the snake, and let it go about it’s business.
6. Call your local snake catcher, Council or Ranger if you suspect a snake to be in the vicinity and a threat to people or pets.
Snake Handlers Contact Information
Department of Parks and Wildlife: (08) 9080 5555
Volunteer Wildcare Helpline: (08) 9474 9055
DPW: (08) 9219 9840
What to do if you suspect you are bitten
Depending on the type of snake, symptoms can vary.
Snakes venom possesses enzymes that have a varying effects on animals, and each snake has a different combination out of 20 enzyme types.
There are four distinct types of venom that act on the body differently.
- Proteolytic venom dismantles the molecular structure of the area surrounding and including the bite.
- Hemotoxic venoms act on the heart and cardiovascular system.
- Neurotoxic venom acts on the nervous system and brain.
- Cytotoxic venom has a localized action at the site of the bite.
If you are bitten by a Snake, Call 000, then follow the below steps:
Click here to visit the St John’s Ambulance guide.
Additional Sources of information
Other Rapallo Environmental Services
• Flora and Fauna Surveys• EIA• Works Approvals• Environmental Licences• Clearing Permits• Programs of Works• Mining Proposals• Closure Plans• Mining Rehabilitation Fund• EMP
• Due Diligence• Compliance Reporting• Auditing and Risk assessment• Contaminated Land Assessment and Management• Acid Sulfate Soils (ASS) Management• SRE Surveys