WIRES reptile expert has noticed snakes starting to move around

With the warmer weather now here, communities across the region may notice an increase in sightings of snakes and magpies as breeding season commences and they seek sun and food.

Volunteers at Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service (WIRES) have already noticed these animals coming out and urged people to remain calm and vigilant in order to protect themselves.

WIRES volunteer and trainer Gary Pattinson travels state-wide this time every year to teach other volunteers about venomous reptile rescue.

"Because it's right about now that snakes start sticking their noses out to look for food and mates as the weather warms up," he said.

"They're starting to move around, there's no doubt about it...."

Mr Pattinson said people in Australia die from snake bites due to mismanagement of snake bites.

"My absolute first and most critical piece of information for people is to learn a very simple first aid procedure called 'pressure and immobilisation... nobody has ever died from a snake bite after having applied pressure and first aid correctly," he said.

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The WIRES volunteer said this technique would especially be beneficial to those living in rural and remote areas of NSW, where emergency services can be up to an hour or more away.

He said even if you have the pressure bandage on, do not walk to find help as the snake venom will travel along your body.

The reptile expert recommends they arm themselves with an electronic emergency request beacon, that when activated in a life threatening situation, assists rescue authorities in their search to locate those in distress.

Mr Pattinson urged people to just leave snakes alone, adding that the best thing to deter snakes from you, your family, pets and home is to give them nowhere to hide.

"Snakes are very secretive animals and they like to hide away a majority of the time," he said, adding that they only come out to bask in the sun or look for food or a mate.

"It's rare to see snakes but at this time of year and into the next six to eight weeks, this is where the vast majority of sightings happen.

"Keep rubbish piles and wood piles up off the floor in your garden. Check under logs and other items (on the ground) by moving them with a stick before you lift them with your hands."

The reptile trainer said the vast majority of snake bites have resulted from people trying to catch or kill snakes.

"They are responding to basically what is a threat to their lives," Mr Pattinson explained.

For those wanting advice about venomous snakes or any other native animals, call the WIRES Wildlife Rescue Line 1300 094 737.

This story Be vigilant: Snakes beginning to move around as weather heats up first appeared on Western Magazine.