Snakes of Victoria
Snakes of Victoria
There are 27 snake species known in Victoria. Some are quite localised in just a few districts, while others are much more widespread. This class project will introduce students to Bioinformatics while providing them with an understanding of the biodiversity and environmental requirements of a fascinating part of Australia's wildlife.
The project can be easily organised by allocating one species of snake to each student to research through the Bioinformatics database, and supplementing this with additional information from library resources. When the students have finished their research, the results could be presented as short individual reports on each snake species, and then summarised as a class poster or publication on the snakes of Victoria.
Scroll down until you come to the Genus and Species names. This shows the scientific names of all 27 Victorian snakes on this database. Allocate one snake species to each member of the class.
Would you like to know what the close relatives of your snake are?
Enter the family name of the snake you have chosen and you will obtain a list of Victorian snakes which are close relatives of the one you have chosen.
To find out whether your snake occurs in your district, carry out the following search:
Enter the name of your area and obtain a list of snake species. Is your snake present? If you want to know whether your snake has been found in a wider district around where you live, carry out one of the alternative searches listed below:
Where in Victoria has the museum recorded sightings of your chosen snake? Carry out the following search:
Enter the scientific name of your snake, and obtain a list of the latitude and longitude of all recorded sightings. Plot the most frequent sightings on a map of Victoria. Have there been any sightings near where you live?
'Click to Produce Distribution Map' at the top of the list of sightings to obtain access to six maps showing where in Victoria your snake has been recorded. The maps are:
Carefully examine each map and try to write statements about where your snake occurs in Victoria. The following questions may assist you to do this:
Find out the months in which your snake has been most frequently sighted.
Enter the name of your snake and obtain a table and graph showing the months in which the museum has recorded your snake. Try to explain the pattern of sightings.
Find out how dangerous your snake is.
Enter the name of the snake you have chosen and obtain an indication of the toxicity of its venom.
To obtain one or several images of your chosen snake, carry out the following search:
Enter the name of your chosen snake, and gain access to the images that are on the data base. Click on thumbnails to access and enlarge images.
Once you have finished the searches outlined above, you are ready to write your report. You may decide to supplement the data you have obtained with information from reference books in your library. This may provide you with additional information on snakes in general, or on the snake you have chosen.
If the snake you have chosen is found in your district, you may be able to obtain information on snake sightings from your parents, neighbours or local naturalists. This will provide you with some indication of whether the number of snakes in your district has changed over the years.
When you feel you have enough material, you should write a report on your chosen snake. The reports on each snake can then be combined into a report on the Snakes of Victoria, and presented as: