Monday, November 1, 2010

More on La Nina and Snakes in Queensland

Queensland's Daily Mercury is carrying the following story regarding increased snake activity due to the La Ninia Climate. See the earlier post that discussed this.
City's crawling with snakes
Cait Bester

While many humans are cursing an extremely wet spring and subsequent warm weather our slithering friends have been making the most of it – rearing their heads in places they aren’t invited.

Snake experts are blaming La Nina for increased snake numbers this season.

Mackay’s Australian Wildlife Rescue Service snake catcher Matthew Moon caught a coastal carpet python in a Slade Point family’s guinea pig cage last week; earlier in the week – in the middle of the night – Mr Moon rescued a brown tree snake, also known as a night tiger, from the Wood Street taxi rank. They are two of Mackay’s most commonly found snakes.

“We have to hand in a log of how many snakes we have caught in a three-month period and when I handed my book in at the beginning of September I had 30 callouts for snakes,” Mr Moon said.

“Since September, I already have had 23 callouts and we are expecting the number to increase as the weather gets warmer.

“There are a lot of snakes on the move at the moment and even back in July I was collecting snakes.

“I can say there are a lot more than normal and we are putting it down to the weather patterns we have been experiencing.”

Mr Moon said it wasn’t uncommon to come across brown snakes and pythons in new estates where there were no trees.

“I am getting more and more callouts to new housing estates, which once were cane land,” he said. “While there are no trees around there is still a large food supply for them.”

Animals are not the only snake victims – 62 people having been treated at the Mackay Base Hospital emergency department for snake bites this year.

With an increase in snake activity snake experts have urged residents to be on the lookout for the creatures.

“If you come across a snake you are best to leave it alone. If you frighten them that is when they will react and will either bite or end up in the house,” Mr Moon said.

“People should contact me and I will come and collect the snake for them and I will then release them back into the wild.

If you come across a snake and need it removed Mr Moon can be contacted on 0413 072 892. Or call the Australian Wildlife and Rescue Service on 0447 543 268.

There is a $20 callout fee.

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