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Photographing Australian Snakes

The past few weeks in New South Wales have been incredibly hot & windy. Fires have consumed over 3 million hectares of land, six people have lost their life and thousands of wild animals have perished.

The weather conditions and drought are having quite an impact on wildlife movement. Hungry Kangaroos turning up in my backyard each afternoon, they are covered in large ticks and are in poor condition. Snakes are also on the move in these hot conditions.They often find themselves in human areas where they are not welcome, especially the venomous species.

Casey Towns is an exceptional snake handler and has been with WIRES for close to 15 years. Casey recently had to rescue several snakes in the Western Plains region. Casey is not only passionate about reptiles but she loves photography so we decided to spend the afternoon photographing the snakes before they are released back into the wild.

Casey holding a Blue-bellied Black Snake

Blue-bellied Black Snake

The Blue-bellied Black Snake can be found on the east coast of Australia. Some individuals can show a beautiful light blue colouration on the lateral scales. This Elapid is a shy species but will defend aggressively if threatened. 

Their venom has the highest toxicity of the black snakes.

Red-bellied Black Snake

Casey holding a Red-bellied Black Snake

The Red-bellied Black Snake is the most frequently encountered species of snake on the east coast of Australia. They are renowned for their crimson coloured lateral scales. This shy species will only only become aggressive if heavily harassed or threatened. It is the least dangerous of Australia's large Elapid snakes.

Red lateral scales

Eastern Brown Snake

The Eastern Brown Snake occurs in some of the most populated parts of the country, from Northern Queensland to Southern Australia. This elapid is incredibly nervous and alert and is extremely defensive when harassed but given the chance it will flee. When threatened this snake will raise its upper body off the ground and form an S- shaped curl and will open its mouth wide, ready to strike. 

The Eastern Brown Snake is one of Australia's most dangerous snakes and it is the second most venomous snake in the world.

They are a beautiful species and can occur in many different colours. This is is Casey's favourite species. 

The start of a threat display of an Eastern Brown

Threat display of an Eastern Brown

Threat display of an Eastern Brown

Threat display of an Eastern Brown

  • Caroline Kemp

    on December 19, 2019

    Amazing photographs, beautiful snakes :)

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