Endangered Species Program
Conserving the Nature of America

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Massasauga Rattlesnake Research
Partner: Missouri Department of Conservation


The greatest threat to the Eastern Massasauga is habitat destruction and fragmentation. Expanding development of habitat also results in an increase in the number of snakes accidentally killed on roadways. The deliberate killing of snakes by humans is also a significant threat to Massasaugas. This venomous snake is shy and will avoid people. When people are bitten by this or other snakes, it is usually a result of people trying to kill or handle them, or by accidentally stepping on one. States in which the Eastern Massasauga is known to or is believed to occur include Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Last updated: April 11, 2011