Rattling support for the eastern massasauga

State Wildlife Research News

From the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Conserving the Nature of the Northeast blog:

eastern massasaugasThree years of research, more than $60,000 in funding, and continual habitat manipulation is the secret to resurrecting a degraded swamp in New York into basking habitat for one of the state’s slithering residents.

The eastern massasauga rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus) is listed as endangered by the state of New York and is a candidate for federal protection under the Endangered Species Act. In the meantime, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service continues working to recover the species.

The massasauga lives in wet areas made of peat layers from years of decomposing plants. The layers hold water like a sponge, with new plants growing on each layer. Just two swamps in the Empire State support the species, but one has been so severely degraded that few massasaugas can actually survive there.

Keep reading…


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8 thoughts on “Rattling support for the eastern massasauga

  1. OK…………If you are going to start including snake pictures I will need to stop following your blog! ;^) Not really – but I have to admit, I am truly scared by snakes.

  2. Steve and I STILL maintain that you need to publish and or have a show. We’d be there and we would purchase!!!! Great shot of that rattlesnake…..that’s as close as I ever want to be!

    • You guys are great. Thanks! Unfortunately, the snake post isn’t mine—I follow that site – US Fish and Wildlife Service/Wildlife issues/research in the Northeast. Since we have the Massasauga in NYS, I thought the post was very relevant and “reblogged” it on my blog to promote it. I really appreciate the encouragement to go public. That’s a winter project!

  3. I’m always glad to see conservation projects, but have to admit that running into a rattlesnake isn’t high on my bucket list. Even an ordinary garden snake tends to have me moving from the vicinity rather speedily. Wonder what it is about them that prompts that reaction from most of us.

    • Good question. Primal instinct I guess. I’ve had 3 dogs over the years and all were afraid of snakes (these were the garden varieties of small, nonpoisonous snakes and the fear was not learned from experiences). My current canine companion is a fearless, take-no-prisoners hunter….but he is deathly afraid of even a shed snake skin! I understand and appreciate fear and avoidance, but many kill everything that slithers and there’s absolutely no excuse for that.

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