(photo by Taylor Lehman) Spatial ecology, habitat preference, and habitat management of the eastern massasauga, Sistrurus c. catenatus, in a New York weaklyminerotrophic peatland. Bloomington, MN 55437-1458, Contact Us Fish and Wildlife Service listed the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus) as endangered under the Endangered Species Act.Although listed as endangered in Ohio since 1996, this decision affords the Massasauga federal protections related to direct harm to the species and its habitat. Since the early 1900s damming, road building, surface mining and urbanization have destroyed large amounts of Pennsylvania’s massasauga habitat. U.S. Populations in southern Michigan are typically associated with open wetlands, particularly prairie fens, while those in northern Michigan are better known from lowland coniferous forests, such as cedar swamps (Legge and Rabe 1999). The Service listed the eastern massasauga as threatened because of loss of populations throughout its range, declines in the number of individuals within those populations and the fact that threats will continue to cause declines into the future.  If we continue to lose eastern massasauga populations, the species is likely to face extinction in the future. This rattlesnake is strongly associated with floodplain habitats along medium to large rivers, especially near river confluences, where they primarily occupy open canopy wetlands, such as sedge meadows, fresh wet meadows, shrub-carrs, and adjacent upland prairies, floodplain forests, … Final Environmental Assessment for Eastern Massasauga Candidate Conservation Agreements in the Midwest. The Division of Wildlife’s mission is to conserve and improve fish and wildlife resources and their habitats for sustainable use and appreciation by all. They often hibernate in crayfish burrows but may also be found under logs and tree roots or in small mammal burrows. State of Illinois Coronavirus Response Site. Fun Facts The name "Massasauga" comes from a Chippewa Indian word meaning "great river mouth." The eastern massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus) is a small rattlesnake considered in decline through much of its range and is listed as endangered in Indiana. Habitat loss and Fragmentation. The U.S. Eastern Massasauga, Photo Courtesy of Nicholas Smeenk. Eastern massasaugas have been found in a variety of wetland habitats, including bogs, fens, shrub swamps, wet meadows, marshes, moist grasslands, wet prairies and floodplain forests. The Midwest Region includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin. They inhabit at a height below 1500 m above sea level. The more its marshy haunts are drained and developed, the more the snake is pushed onto islands of habitat where survival is difficult. mowing, prescribed fire) to maintain these conditions. Please turn on JavaScript and try again. This snake eats mice, small birds, frogs and snakes. It lives in wet prairies, bogs and old fields. A button at the tip of the tail is present at birth. Live and Let Live - Oakland County, Michigan Blog, Species Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the availability of the draft recovery plan for the threatened eastern massasauga rattlesnake. The venomous Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake rarely attempts to bite unless highly agitated. 171-page PDF, Spotlight Species Action Plan October 2009. They have been reported to reproduce both annually and biennially in different parts of their range. The eastern massasauga may be found in the northern two-thirds of Illinois. 9-Page PDF, Rome State Nature Preserve Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances Ashtabula County, Ohio. The eastern massasauga may take shelter in crayfish burrows or other underground cavities. The female gives birth to four to 20 young in August or September, the number depending on her size and age. It has a heat-sensitive pit on each side of the head between the eye and the nostril. Natural predators for the massasauga, particularly the eggs and young, include hawks, skunks, raccoons, and foxes. Eastern massasaugas have been found in a variety of wetland habitats, including bogs, fens, shrub swamps, wet meadows, marshes, moist grasslands, wet prairies, and floodplain forests (Hallock 1990, Harding 1997). The draining and dredging of wetlands is the primary cause of the habitat loss. Habitat: Massasaugas live in wet areas including wet prairies, marshes and low areas along rivers and lakes. The eastern massasauga is strongly associated with wetlands across most of its range. Throughout its range, biologists have confirmed that less than half of the eastern massasauga’s historical populations still exist. Most of those populations are in Michigan and Ontario, Canada.  New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa have fewer populations.Â, U.S. Spotlight: Eastern Massasauga, Long-term Research on Rattlesnake Life History Will Help Managers Plan Habitat Restoration, Learning to Live with the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake, Rome State Nature Preserve Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances. The massasauga is a rattlesnake species found in midwestern North America from southern Ontario to northern Mexico and parts of the United States in between. In summer, snakes migrate to drier, upland sites, ranging from forest openings to old fields, agricultural lands and prairies. At present, there is no evidence of established breeding populations on the Minnesota side of the Mississippi River (hence … Scales are keeled (ridged). They will shift the habitats they use, depending on the season. 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). We request review and comment on this draft recovery plan from local, State, and Federal agencies, and the public. Standard Survey Protocol. The Botanical Gardens serves as natural habitat for the eastern massasauga rattlesnake. This probably refers to the wet habitats preferred by the eastern and western subspecies. Minnesota, New York, Ohio, This is because of its habitat of swamps, which are often found around the mouths of rivers. HABITAT: Eastern massasaugas tend to inhabit wetland areas but may also use drier habitats. Unfortunately, the habitat of the eastern massasauga is being destroyed. Endangered Species Act (Act). In addition to the loss of populations, we expect the extent of species’ range will shrink by more than 80 percent over the next 50 years as populations are lost.Â, Final Rule (Federal Register Sept. 30, 2016), Species Status Assessment (117-page PDF ; 2.4MB), Range-wide Extinction Risk Modeling for the Habitat Eastern Massasauga rattlesnakes are usually found in damp lowland habitats, including bottomland forests, swamps, bogs, fens, marshes, sedge meadows, and wet prairies. Along with dredging, the succession of forests into meadows and prairies has also destroyed the habitat of the Regulatory Status. Hibernation sites are located below the frost line, often close to groundwater level. Phone: 612-713-5360 The eastern massasauga may be found in the northern two-thirds of Illinois. There are a number of signs posted on the grounds to alert guests to the potential presence of the rattlesnakes. The mission of the U.S. Eastern massasaugas have been found in a variety of wetland habitats, including bogs, fens, shrub swamps, wet meadows, marshes, moist grasslands, wet prairies and floodplain forests. Generally, they use wetlands in the spring, fall, and winter. Our analysis projects a 90 percent reduction in number of populations over the next 50 years. Eastern massasauga (EMR) are an early successional species requiring habitat management practices (i.e. Fish & Wildlife Service ECOS Environmental Conservation Online System 5600 American Blvd. The massasauga is listed as threatened species by the US Fish and Wildlife Service under the Endangered Species Act. Females give birth to litters of 5 to 20 live young in August or early September. Habitat Eastern Massasaugas have been found in a variety of wetland habitats. Natural Habitat. The northern populations in Ontario, Canada, around Georgian Bay are found in rock outcrop areas that are more similar to the habitat where we find timber rattlesnakes. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) before The eastern massasauga may take shelter in crayfish burrows or other underground cavities. To do this, we are developing spatially explicit, full life-cycle demographic models for Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus) Ruffed Grouse (Bonasa umbellus), and additional species in collaboration with the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes Landscape Conservation Cooperative and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Populations in southern Michigan are typically associated with open wetlands, particularly prairie fens, while those in northern Michigan are known from open wetlands and lowland coniferous forests, such as cedar swamps. In late 2016, the U.S. We prepared a Species Status Assessment to assess the eastern massasauga’s current and projected future ability to survive. Spotlight: Eastern Massasauga - USFWS Chicago Generally, they use wetlands in the spring, fall, and winter. Its head is flattened and much wider than the neck. We, the U.S. Eastern massasauga rattlesnakes can reach up to 30 inches in length. A row of dark blotches is present down the back, and there are three rows of dark spots on the sides. Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus catenatus) (66-page PDF ; 2.3MB). The rattle is developed as the skin is shed. Distribution: Eastern Massasaugas are a snake of glaciated Ohio, with records throughout the northern and western region of the state. The eastern massasauga has been declining over the past three decades due to loss and fragmentation of its wetland habitat. Endangered Species Act (Act). The endangered status of the eastern massasauga is mainly due to habitat loss. This snake is active in the day, except in the hottest summer months when it becomes nocturnal. In many areas massasaugas also use adjacent uplands during part of the year. View up to date information on how Illinois is handling the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) from the Habitat Eastern massasauga rattlesnakes are usually found in damp lowland habitats such as swamps, marshes, wet prairies, and bottomland forests. This snake is active in the day, except in the hottest summer months when it becomes nocturnal. near you », 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. We know of 558 historical populations, of which 211 have been lost and the status of 84 is uncertain – with the likelihood that many of those populations have also been lost. Fish and Wildlife Service's Endangered Species program is conserving and restoring threatened and endangered species and their ecosystems. In Indiana, massasaugas were historically distributed ... An area of suitable habitat where one massasauga was found. The analysis predicts a continuing decline in the number of eastern massasauga populations. The venom of the Massasauga rattlesnake is hemolytic, which means it causes the breakdown of … Most of the places that it once lived in have been destroyed by the drainage of prairie marshes and for agricultural use. Suitable hibernation habitat for Massasaugas is typically found in lowland areas with water-saturated soils and where the water table is close to the surface so that snakes can avoid desiccation (Johnson 1995, EMRT 2005, Parks Canada Agency 2011). Massasaugas feed primarily on small mammals such as voles, moles, jumping mice, and shrews. 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