Endangered Species
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Eastern massasauga

 

Eastern Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus)

Status: Proposed as Threatened

 

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.

Eastern massasaugaPhoto courtesy of Joe Crowley

Eastern Massasauga

Status: Proposed as Threatened; 2015

 

Habitat: Open to forested wetlands and adjacent upland areas

 

Lead Region: 3

 

Region 3 Lead Office: Chicago, Illinois Field Office

 

Range: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Ontario

 

Video

from the Michigan DNR

 

From the Michigan DNR Natural Features Inventory

 

About Massasaugas

 

Identification and Look-Alikes

 

Life History and Ecology

 

Safety Tips and Snakebite Treatment

 

Report an Observation in Michigan

 

Proposal to List Eastern Massasauga as a Threatened Species

Sept. 29, 2015

Throughout its range, less than half of the eastern massasauga’s historical populations have been confirmed to still exist.  We know of 581 historical populations, of which 193 have been lost and the status of 121 is uncertain – with the likelihood that many of those populations have also been lost.  We have information indicating that 267 of the historical populations still exist today; most of those remaining populations have some level of threat.

 

News Release Adobe PDF Icon

 

Federal Register Proposed Rule Adobe PDF Icon

 

Questions and Answers

 

Fact Sheet

 

Species Status Assessment (117-page PDF Adobe PDF Icon; 2.4MB)

This report summarizes the results of an assessment of the eastern massasauga's overall viability. The assessment begins with a description of the snake’s ecological requirements for survival and reproduction as they relate to its overall viability. We generally defined viability as the ability of the species to maintain self-sustaining populations over the long-term. Using the principles of resiliency, representation, and redundancy, we considered the species’ needs at the individual, population, and species scales. We also identified the beneficial and risk factors influencing the species’ viability. We considered the degree to which the species’ ecological needs are met both currently and as can be forecasted into the future, and assessed the consequences of any unmet needs as they relate to species viability.

 

Range wide Extinction Risk Modeling for the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus catenatus) (66-page PDF Adobe PDF Icon; 2.3MB)

 

Life History and Ecology

Live and Let Live - Oakland County, Michigan Blog

 

Species Spotlight: Eastern Massasauga - USFWS Chicago Field Office

 

Eastern Massasauga - Michigan Society of Herpetologists

 

Species Survival Plan

AZA Species Survival Plan - A Species Survival Plan® is a collaborative science-based management program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).

 

Michigan is Main Focus of Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake Survival Plan

 

Lincoln Park Zoo Recovery Efforts

 

Conservation and Research

Managing for Massasaugas - Edward Lowe Foundation | Land Stewardship. 4-page PDF. 2012

 

Long-term Research on Rattlesnake Life History Will Help Managers Plan Habitat Restoration August 7, 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

 

Response to Habitat Management by the Eastern Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus) at Carlyle Lake, lllinois S6 Grant Project. 2006

 

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

 

Final Environmental Assessment for Eastern Massasauga Candidate Conservation Agreements in the Midwest. July 26, 2005

 

Survey and Management Guidances

A Handbook for Land Managers (PDF 1.2 MB)

 

Recommended Standard Survey Protocol

 

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Last updated: September 15, 2016