At this time of the year, we Georgians are spending a lot of time in our yards. As such, homeowners and their families are more likely to encounter a snake now than at any other time of the year. Whenever somebody does run across a snake, the first question that often comes to mind is, “Is this reptile poisonous?
According to John Jensen, senior wildlife biologist with the Georgia Nongame Wildlife Conservation Section and one of the state’s leading authorities on snakes, “Only every once in a while is it a venomous snake.”
It seems that only six of the 46 species of Georgia’s of native snakes are poisonous. The vast majority of the Peach State’s snakes are not a threat to humans. However, far too often, harmless snakes are needlessly persecuted. This is unfortunate because snakes are valued members of the wildlife communities that live in our yards.
One way that you can alleviate your fears that you have encountered a poisonous snake is to learn how to identify them. Since you only have to learn to identify six snakes, this is an easy task.
The Georgia Nongame Wildlife Conservation Section has prepared two publications that make identifying Georgia’s poisonous snakes a snap. These full color pamphlets are entitled, “Venomous Snakes of Georgia” and “Is it a Water Moccasin?”. Both publications can be downloaded by visiting the Nongame Wildlife Conservation Section website at www.georgiawildlife.org/georgiasnakes.