Snakes are common animals and chances are that you have seen a snake slithering around at some point in your life. They can be found in a variety of habitats. A habitat is a place where an animal naturally lives and includes the animal's surroundings and home.
Some snakes live in habitats on land, including forests, prairies, and deserts. Others live in water environments. Even though snakes can be found all over the world, most of the snakes live in warm tropical climates.
What do they eat?
Snakes consume many different animals including insects small rodents and frogs. Snakes eat their prey whole because their lower jaw can separate from the upper jaw. Very large snakes can even eat small deer, pigs, monkeys, and even primates.
Are snakes fearful?
Along with spiders, leeches and other 'creepy-crawlies', people often perceive snakes as animals to fear and hate. In the case of snakes and spiders, some are also venomous, with a few having the potential to kill. This has led to the belief that 'the only good snake is a dead snake' - the vast majority of spiders suffer the same stigma, and the same fate. Snakes usually prefer to retreat when encountered but can become defensive if threatened. Most snake bites are received by people who try to capture or kill a snake. When left alone, snakes present little or no danger to people.
Snake populations in decline
Snakes play an important role in many different types of ecosystems. However, their numbers are generally declining. Here are some reasons for their declining:
- The indiscriminate killing of snakes by people who fear or dislike them. Many harmless snakes, and even legless lizards, are killed unnecessarily in this way
- introduced predators such as foxes, dogs and cats
- removing snake habitat, through clearing land for agriculture or urban development
- more frequent bushfires
- snakes being run over on roads
We should Treat Snakes with Respect
It is easy to mistake the identity of a snake, and the results are not pleasant for either human or snake.
Remember, snakes are not as aggressive as people generally believe and they play an important role in our ecosystems. Generally speaking, it is best to leave them alone and keep your distance. If the snake is posing a problem, call in a professional snake catcher.