Tweed?s hidden dangers

DESPITE continuing reports of snake sightings and the death of a Kynnumboon man late last year after a brown snake bite, the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has had fewer reports this year than in recent years.

NPWS Tweed manager Nigel Greenup said yesterday people should always be aware snakes were active especially in the summer months but good rainfall this season had probably made the snakes less obvious.

"Compared with the past two or three hot, dry seasons there has been plenty of rain around which means the snakes have not had to travel so extensively to find food," Mr Greenup said.

"But they are still there, including around the dunes behind the beach and even down onto the beach itself at times."

Cudgen surf lifesavers reported in October a large brown snake had disrupted a branch surf carnival at Evans Head when it had crawled through the announcer's tent.

On another occasion a brown-coloured sea snake washed up at Kingscliff Beach causing some consternation amongst swimmers and lifeguards alike.

Mr Greenup said snakes were active in sand dunes because they could find food there.

"It may look like a desert to some but you only have to walk through the reserve of a morning and see all the tracks left by lizards and other creatures," he said.

"There is quite a deal of habitat and wildlife there which is food for the snakes, so that's where they will be."

Mr Greenup said during mid-summer, snakes were in their breeding cycle which meant more danger for people.

"When they're mating they're totally oblivious to what's going on around them so it's possibly more likely you will surprise them and get bitten."

He said snakes followed food including rats and mice and advised people to wear shoes and carry a torch even when walking in their gardens at night.

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