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SSSAFE Crocodile Islands Snake Management Program



Author: Craig Adams
Date: Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Recently SSSAFE director Craig Adams went on another of his many adventures.  This time he travelled to crocodile islands archipelago of North East Arnhem Land to deliver some expert venomous snake handling training to the local rangers.
The Crocodile Islands Ranger (CIR) Program aims to protect the land and sea (which includes up to 10,000km2 of sea and 250km2 of registered sacred sites), improve socioeconomic conditions and preserve and promote the rich local customs of the crocodile island communities http://www.crocodileislandsrangers.com/.  Initially a volunteer program, the CIR successfully secured commonwealth funds to engage full-time rangers to provide coastal surveillance and bio-security, including weed management and ghost nets monitoring and removal, as well as community services including search & rescue, and a Junior Ranger Program.

SSSAFE was thrilled to play its small part in the promotion and conservation of local fauna.  Rangers were given instruction in the safe removal (catch and release) of venomous and non-venomous snakes common to the area. The training, familiarisation and use of the specialist catching equipment and snakebite emergency first aid were very well received.
Craig and the trainees pursued wild snakes through the evening and early morning when snakes are most active.  The snake catching scenarios were fair dinkum and in real time.  A number of representative species were captured and different catching techniques were played out.

Conservation issues were also brought into sharp relief as literally hundreds of the highly poisonous cane toads were encountered each night, including recently dead snakes that had been poisoned by eating them.  Only one goanna was caught on Milingimbi Island where once, prior to the toad invasion, they could be found in large numbers and were an important source of bush tucker.  The importance of protecting those few remaining specimens – and not hunting them for food -  was discussed at length, as these individuals may hold the gene that prevents them taking toads as prey and are key to future generations of toad avoiding goannas and their gradual recovery on the island.

If you feel your organisation could benefit from having a professional train your people in Snake Safety and Awareness, Snakebite First Aid or require Specialised Venomous Snake Handling training to remove problem snakes, safely, following the link to http://www.sssafe.com.au/contact.

The Hunt

Snake Wrangling

Safely in the bag!

Securing the prize

Craig & the trainees examine a black whip snake recently killed by eating a small toad

Even small toads can prove fatal to the unfortunate snake that attempts to eat them

A trainee assesses the merits of our compression bandages with a visual aid

Craid taking the First Aid message to the wider community

The end of a long night Snake Hunting & a very successful trip

 

A huge thank you and congratulations to Warrick and Simone Angus for their dedication, proffessionalism and hospitality.

They are doing an excellent job up there!

 

Australian Venomous Snakes: Travel Diary and NEW Handling Courses on Home Turf



Author: Craig Adams
Date: Thursday, May 10, 2012

We have finally returned from our field trip / family adventure to the Flinders Ranges via Western NSW.  There is not much to report on the snake front as the weather was a bit too cool for many of the cold blooded creatures out west.  However we did encounter a King Brown, who looked like it had only just been hit by passing traffic, but judging from its body condition, the snakes out this way appear to be doing very well.
 
With all the recent rains the bird life was spectacular and we added a whole flock of species to our bird list, with the help of Michael Morcombes e guide app – priceless! 

And, anyone who is lucky enough to travel this way will always see their fair share of these delightful critters.  The Shingleback lizard, that is, not the small human.  They are also known as bobtails, sleepy lizards, stumpy lizards or horseshoe lizards. 

Now, we may not have been wrangling snakes out west this time around but we all know Craig has been training zoo keepers to handle some of the most venomous snakes in Australia to professional standard for many years.  And recently, SSSAFE has been training Field Ecologists and Sport and Recreation Officers in the capture and relocation of venomous snakes.  Now this can be a tricky business, however, the training methods, techniques & equipment are second to none as they afford high levels of safety, risk management.  Not to mention being kind to the snakes. 

As one of our trainees said “In all seriousness, this is one of the best courses I have ever attended.  The presenters were outstanding (why, thankyou), the resources were quality (you better believe it!) and the practical sessions were “engaging”! (does this have something to do with the deadly snakes and spiders?)

 
If you feel your business has a legitimate need to control venomous snake incursions at your workplace, without having to rely on volunteers from the community to do the job, contact SSSAFE to sign up for the next competency based training program.

New Website



Author: Craig Adams
Date: Thursday, March 22, 2012

WELCOME TO OUR NEW WEBSITE

SSSAFE has grown and it is time for our homepage to reflect all the services we now offer.

In addition to our invaluable Snake and Spider Safety Seminars, SSSAFE has developed specialised Corporate Presentations that takes an entirely original approach to empathic leadership…with impact!

SSSAFE has also specifically designed an innovative and professional 2 day Snake Handling Course for industry groups, governmental bodies and emergency services that have a legitimate demand for the safe relocation or capture of snakes.

We continue working closely with our OH&S consultant, BridgeSafe, to provide Snake Hazard Assessments and recommendations to NSW Government.

SSSAFE is also proud to announce our partnership with Survival First Aid to advance the safety options available to SSSAFE clients. See our First Aid Kit store for more details.

We will still be having serious fun ‘out bush’ as field ecologists and animal wranglers for Wildlife Documentary and Commercial Filmmakers and Ecological Consultancy groups. We’ll be doing this forever!

Please feel free to browse our new site to see what’s on offer. We hope you enjoy it.

NOW ABOUT ALL THOSE SNAKES AND ALL THAT RAIN

The floodwaters sweeping through NSW are forcing snakes and spiders, to any high ground available to them. There are reports of snakes flushed out and exposed by the floods being killed rather mercilessly. In my experience, snakes that find themselves in such a predicament are forced to share crowded island refuges with other displaced wildlife and they tend to lose some of their usual defensive behaviour. They have to wait it out like all the rest of us…

Let’s not forget snakes are protected wildlife. Killing them is unnecessary and dangerous.

Craig, SSSAFE director, has been involved with some fascinating projects of late starting with Gregory Colbert’s, internationally renowned wildlife photographer (www.ashesandsnow.org), Australian Tour last year, culminating in a wildly successful field trip to the QLD channel Country to film Fierce Snakes for the BBC’s Deadly 60 Series, staring Steve Backshall, pictured below with cameraman and a very healthy Fiercy.

The doco should be on ABC this year. We will keep you posted.


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