Hello, All Readers and Present or Future Herpetologists,
Sneak Peek: In Book 4, Saffron Street: Island Danger, our four detectives travel to O’ahu to solve their latest case. Moki happily announces to Lanny that there are no “fangs of death,” i.e., snakes, on the Hawaiian Islands. Fearing reptiles as he does, Moki is pleased to be back home where he can relax. Or can he?
Wait one minute, Moki. Look again–carefully!
There are snakes in Hawai’i, and some right on Moki’s native O’ahu! In fact, the Hawaiian Department of Agriculture (HDOA) has reported sightings of seven different kinds of snakes on the islands in the past few decades.
According to John Alois from a-z-animals.com in his article dated June 21, 2022, all seven types of snakes are invasive, not indigenous, to the islands. Some were smuggled in for pets while others hitched rides in cargo containers on vessels and aircraft or on the ocean waves. And given that the nearest land mass is over 2,000 miles away, that’s some serious swimming.
Possession of a snake in Hawai’i is a crime that can bring a $200,000 fine or three years in prison. The reason is that Hawai’i is isolated. If snakes take hold on the islands, they could throw the ecosystem into chaos, even decimate native animal and plant species. And they could become increasingly dangerous to humans and possibly impact tourism negatively. Fortunately, most snakes have been contained. Most, which means there are still some on the loose that might be reproducing.
Here are the seven snakes. Be on the lookout the next time you’re in Hawaiian Paradise and report any snakes you spot to the HDOA: Good news: The agency’s efforts to crack down on the snakes are paying off.
Nonvenomous: Brahminy Blind Snake, Ball Python, Boa Constrictor, Garter Snake, Corn Snake
Highly Venomous: Brown Tree Snake, Yellow-Bellied Sea Snake
So, get a clue, Readers. No need to fear the beautiful Hawaiian Islands. Just be on the lookout for “island dangers.” I’m sure Moki will be from now on!