Snakes in New Zealand

Are there snakes in New Zealand

There are no native land-dwelling snakes in New Zealand. The country’s cool temperatures are one of the reasons making it difficult for cold-blooded reptiles to survive here. Owning snakes in New Zealand as pets or keeping them in zoos is considered illegal since it could disturb the country’s fauna. If one spotted a snake in the vicinity, reporting it to the authorities is a mandate. Lest he could be fined or face severe consequences.

However, it is essential to know that certain marine snakes make their way to the waters of New Zealand all the way from Southeast Asia, Australia, New Guinea, and South Pacific. One commonly sighted water snake is the yellow-bellied sea snake, venomous but non-aggressive in its natural habitat. They prefer warmer waters and barely come to land unless washed away by big waves or a storm. Between six and ten yellow-bellied sea snakes are spotted every year around North Island’s north eastern coast, mostly during summer.

The yellow-lipped sea krait or the banded sea krait is another water snake in the New Zealand waters sighted in 1880 for the first time. Their occurrence is rarer than the yellow-bellied sea snake, with just six recorded species found here.  They have been found in areas of Castlepoint, Ohope Beach, Bay of Plenty, and Northland.