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Eastern Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus)
The eastern massasauga is a small, thick-bodied rattlesnake that lives in shallow wetlands and adjacent uplands in portions of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Ontario.
The eastern massasauga has been a candidate for listing under the Endangered Species Act since 1999. Since then, we have worked with state natural resources agencies to develop Candidate Conservation Agreements with Assurances. The eastern massasauga was included in a court-approved settlement agreement. As a result, the Service is actively reviewing its status to determine whether is should be proposed for listing under the Endangered Species Act with a determination due by Sept. 30, 2015.
Life History, Ecology and Regulatory Information
Species Status Assessment (115-page PDF; 2MB)
Species Spotlight: Eastern Massasauga - USFWS Chicago Field Office
1998 Status Assessment (71-page PDF; 1.5 MB)
Eastern Massasauga - Michigan Society of Herpetologists
Eastern Massasauga Information from the Michigan DNR and Natural Features Inventory
Eastern Massasauga Conservation
AZA Species Survival Plan - A Species Survival Plan® is a collaborative science-based management program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).
Managing for Massasaugas - Edward Lowe Foundation | Land Stewardship. 4-page PDF. 2012
Species Action Plan - Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PDF). June 2011
Learning to Live with the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake: Expanding Outreach and Education in Southern Michigan Dec. 31, 2009. 171-page PDF
Spotlight Species Action Plan October 2009. 9-Page PDF
Restoring Southeast Michigan’s High Diversity Landscapes Through Collaborative Stewardship – Hillsdale, Jackson, Lenawee, Oakland, and Washtenaw Counties, Michigan. Private Stewardship Grant (May 2007):
Reforestation and Wetland Restoration for Permanent Native Habitat in the St. Joseph River Watershed – Hillsdale County, Michigan; Defiance and Williams Counties, Ohio; Allen, Dekalb, and Noble Counties, Indiana Private Stewardship Grant. May 2007
Molecular Diversity among Massasauga Rattlesnakes: Nuclear Intron Analyses S6 Grant Project 2006
Rome State Nature Preserve Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances Ashtabula County, Ohio. August 2006
Eastern Massasauga Survey and Management Guidances
A Handbook for Land Managers (PDF 1.2 MB)
Last updated: August 26, 2015