Snake season: Austin park rangers identify which snakes are venomous

Austin park rangers showcased a couple of snakes from across the world Sunday afternoon to educate the public on the importance of respecting wildlife.

Kids were able to touch and become familiar with the friendly non-venomous snakes. However, Park Ranger David Papke said people need to learn how to identify the dangerous ones.

"My goal is to try to get people to focus not necessarily how to identify all species of snakes but to really key in on the ones we should be concerned about," Papke said.

Patti Bradfield who lives by McKinney Falls said all the recent construction has pushed snakes out of their habitat and now snakes are beginning to pop up in people’s yards.

"I was afraid of all snakes I think like most people I thought every snake I ran across was going to kill me," said Bradfield.

Bradfield plans to take the information she learned from the park rangers to her Home Owners Association to educate neighbors who encounter snakes.

According to Texas Parks and Wildlife there are 15 potentially dangerous snake species in the state. Park rangers said four of those are commonly found in Austin.

Those include:

  • the Western Diamond Back Rattlesnake, when threatened alerts people with their tail
  • the colorful Coral snake
  • the Copperhead
  • (one people most likely encounter while swimming) the Water Moccasin.

Ranger Papke said if you are ever uncertain what kind of species a snake is keep your distance and call for a ranger or animal control if necessary.

"Respect wildlife that's all there is to it, they’re here we're here let's share the space," said Papke.