ONE book is proving that snakes are not as scary as they might seem.
Having worked with the reptiles for the past 30 years, herpetologist Simon Fearn is today launching his new guidebook Snakes of Tasmania.
He said he wrote the book after noticing there was a lack of information on snakes that specifically live and breed in the state.
‘‘I thought there was a need for an extremely regional-based book,’’ he said.
‘‘You would be very lucky to get a photograph of a Tasmanian snake and certainly there was no quality information.
‘‘People were asking me the same questions over and over again.’’
Identification, diet, lifespan and first aid information all sit alongside the book’s many photographs of Tasmanian snakes.
While the state has only three species of snake – the white-lipped, the copperhead and the tiger snake – Mr Fearn said people thought there were more due to the vast variation in appearance of the tiger snake.
‘‘My ultimate goal is that people can go on a bushwalk, see a snake and instead of freaking out stop and watch what its doing.
‘‘It’s mainly urban people that have this grossly inflated fear of snakes so when they do go to the bush and see a snake they completely freak out.
‘‘Just take the time to not be so scared.’’
Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery curator of natural sciences David Maynard said this was the first in what the museum hoped to be a natural history series.
‘‘One of the things QVMAG is able to do is foster research with researchers in the community and we’re able to provide an outlet for that research,’’ Mr Maynard said.
Live snakes will be present at the launch of Snakes of Tasmania at 10.30am today at QVMAG Inveresk.
QVMAG natural sciences curator David Maynard and QVMAG honorary associate Simon Fearn with Mr Fearn’s new book and a captive bred male copperhead snake. Picture: SCOTT GELSTON
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