“What kind of snakes live on Hilton Head Island?”
This is by far the most popular question guests ask onboard the H2O Alligator and Nature Tours in the Sea Pines Forest Preserve.
While there are many different species of snakes inhabiting Hilton Head Island, a few stand out. Species that draw the most attention and concern are venomous—copperheads, water moccasins (cottonmouths) and Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes.
Though these are the primary attention-grabbers, many non-venomous species also live here. Examples include king snakes, corn snakes, rough green tree snakes and many others. These reptiles are a delicate link in the indigenous food chain and, not only play a vital role in controlling rodent populations, but keep various other animal species from overpopulating.
Encountering a venomous snake on a vacation in Hilton Head is not impossible.
But, it is more likely you will not see a snake at all while visiting the Island. Decades of development and construction have caused the local snake population to largely disappear. However, if you happen to spot a venomous snake, or any snake for that matter, it is best to exercise caution and leave the animal alone.
Snakes usually come into contact with humans by accident, and like nothing more than to retreat and go about their business. Those who practice keeping a safe distance rarely, if ever, experience any problems.
Fear and anxiousness concerning snakes is understandable, but there is a need for education and awareness regarding reptiles. Snakes play a vital role in sustaining the natural order of things. Construction, plus hostile practices toward the Island snake population, have made encountering snakes a rare experience. The Sea Pines Forest Preserve is unique in that it is a sanctuary for Hilton Head Island wildlife, and one of the few places one consistently sees a variety of local organisms (sometimes even snakes) in their natural environment.
Our Alligator Tour guides are specially trained to recognize, identify and explain reptiles and their behavior to guests.
It is common to see a rough green tree snake on a tour, and guests can get up close and personal with this harmless, beautiful creature. Serving as snake ambassadors, they display a rich lime green color that camouflages them with the surrounding vegetation. Guests lucky enough to experience these animals always enjoy the thrill of holding a wild snake in their hands!
We hope you choose to experience the H2O Alligator and Wildlife Tour and learn more about snakes and other animals, and how we protect our natural resources.
Written by Anthony R. Savarese
H2O Sports in Harbour Town is a great place to spark curiosity and inspire learning through adventure for all ages. To make reservations for the Alligator and Wildlife Tour or the Wine & Cheese Sunset Alligator Tour, please call 843-671-4386. For details on other water activities offered by H2O Sports, visit www.h2osports.com.