Posted November 16, 2019 15:34:23The Australian snake population has fallen by about 20 per cent over the past five years, according to new figures from the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection.
Key points:The number of confirmed snake deaths dropped from 14,732 to 12,937 over the five yearsThe snake population is also at record lows in Queensland, New South Wales and South AustraliaThe numbers of confirmed and suspected snake deaths are also at a record low.
The numbers have fallen significantly over the last five years with fewer than 10,000 confirmed deaths in 2014-15 compared to more than 12,000 recorded in 2015-16.
The department said the numbers of snake deaths were lower than in any previous year.
“The snake mortality rate has been stable over the years, with a decrease of less than 0.1 per cent in the five-year period from 2012-13 to 2016-17,” the department said.
“While the number of snake-related fatalities has dropped, the total number of snakes is on a similar trajectory to that seen in the early years of the disease, with about 8,000 deaths recorded each year.”
“The number and types of snakes that are reported to the department are often quite limited and the actual number of venomous snakes in Australia is still quite high,” the Department said.
The new figures show the majority of Australian snakes are found in NSW, Queensland and South Australian.
The majority of the snake deaths occur in areas of Victoria and Tasmania.
The Australian Reptile and Amphibian Association said it was not surprising that the number and size of snakes in the state was so high, given the spread of the virus.
“This is a disease that is spreading rapidly across the country, it’s spreading in areas where there is already high numbers of snakes, and it’s affecting the populations,” it said.
Topics:virus-prevention,health,community-and-society,health-policy,science-and,environment,healthcare-facilities,environmental-health-and/or-diseases-other,australiaFirst posted November 17, 2019 17:00:55More stories from New South Wollongong