or uplands with natural habitat, a massasauga may find its way to your The eastern massasauga is primarily associated with wetland habitats but some populations also utilize adjacent upland habitats for parts of its life history. Solid black melanistic examples are also known, as well as cases where the back blotches join with those on the sides. Ecology and Conservation. [22], The diet of S. catenatus consists of a variety of small vertebrates, including mammals, lizards, and other snakes, as well as invertebrates such as centipedes. from extinction we ensure that their beneficial uses will be available Over the winter, massasaugas hibernate. The venomous Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake rarely attempts to bite unless highly agitated. It is also food for other predators in its community. yard. It is a darker color than the timber rattlesnake, usually a brownish-gray color with with 29 to 50 dark dorsal blotches running down the length of its body. The U.S. FWS's Threatened & Endangered Species System track information about listed species in the United States Additionally, wetland conservation benefits people Venom, typically used by snakes to kill their prey, is expensive for fatalities during the first part of this century. Three subspecies are currently recognized including the nominate subspecies described here. [20] A 2003–2005 survey showed only four locations in two counties with confirmed populations. Massasaugas This photo is available for media use. If you are threatened by a massasauga you Australian aborigines eat snakes and believe that life on earth began with the rainbow snake. Instead, step on them and then over them. The eyes have vertical, cat-like pupils and the head is shaped like a spade. Historically, this has been due to human activity and more recently primarily from natural forest succession. Rouse, J.D. Unlike most rattlesnakes, Eastern Massasauga do not hibernate with other snakes (Johnson 1995). Rattlesnake bite recovery and aftercare Many Native Americans wood piles and debris and maintaining a well mowed, well kept lawn, VENOMOUS Description: 18½ - 30 inches. Massasauga Rattlesnakes are gray or grayish-brown with dark bands or blotches down the back. Removing In general, however, frogs are not an important part of the diet, although this does seem to be more typical in certain northern and eastern populations.[5]. Rattlesnake bites, while extremely rare in Michigan, can and do occur. Severe internal bleeding causes the death of the small animals that this snake eats. Eastern Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus) is a State Endangered Species and a Federally Threatened Species.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 … However, if you live near wetlands As the U.S. But, because of the snake’s elusive and shy behavior, people rarely Eastern Massasauga Questions and Answers - Final Decision to List the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake as a Threatened Species. 5600 American Blvd. It also contains specialized digestive enzymes that disrupt blood flow and prevent blood clotting. Rattlesnake bites, while extremely rare in Michigan, can and do occur. Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake. (We have the first two types at the Saint Louis Zoo.) to us in the future. Eastern massasauga rattlesnake photo by Mike Redmer, USFWS. The type locality given is "... on the prairies of the upper Missouri" (Valley, USA). PDF Version . 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. The eastern massasauga rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus catenatus) is a unique and fascinating part of Michigan's natural heritage. other states in which massasaugas live each report only a few bites Fish and Wildlife Service is protecting the eastern massasauga rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus) as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. If the bite is left untreated, your bodily functions will break down over a period of 2 or 3 days and the bite may result in severe organ damage or death. people and animals can be hurt and killed by many things. best way to avoid being bitten by a massasauga is to leave them alone. eliminate something from our world because it may cause harm or death While they have much in common, the three subspecies all look a little different. Species are listed as such due to their wide distribution, presumed large population, or because they are unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category. Yes, There Are Rattlesnakes In Georgian Bay Islands National Park! The Eastern Massasauga has elliptical pupils that look like cat's eyes and like all pit vipers, has a heat-sensing pit between the nostril and eye on each side of its head. However, a bite should still be considered very dangerous. The eastern variety usually has a background color of gray to brownish gray. However, a bite should still be considered very dangerous. Fish and Wildlife Service as a federally threatened species. will eliminate much of the snakes’ shelter. hibernate in wetlands rather than in places occupied by people. Rodents [5][6], The Native American word, "massasauga", means "great river-mouth" in the Ojibwe language and was probably given to describe grasslands surrounding the river deltas in Ojibwe country. plants and animals are directly important to humans now or may become It is a darker color than the timber rattlesnake, usually a brownish-gray color with with 29 to 50 dark dorsal blotches running down the length of its body. Populations of this snake have declined so much that Western Massasauga Rattlesnakes are gray or grayish-brown with dark bands or blotches down the back. Bloomington, MN 55437-1458, Contact Us The population trend is unknown. U.S. Frogs also constitute an important part of their diet: Ruthven (1928) mentioned that in Michigan they made up the main portion of their diet. Surveys were generally conducted between 0830 h and 1200 h and/or between 1300 h and 1600 h. Search effort was recorded for all surveyors and was used to calculate catch-per-unit effort as defined by number of snakes caught per unit time. The eastern massasauga rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus catenatus) is a unique and fascinating part of Michigan's natural heritage. Unlike other rattlesnakes, these rattlesnakes have 9 enlarged scales on the top of their head. polio. Australian aborigines eat snakes and believe Yes, There Are Rattlesnakes In Georgian Bay Islands National Park! There are three different subspecies, or types, of Massasauga rattlesnakes: the eastern, western, and desert Massasaugas. localized, unlike coumadin and some other anti-coagulants that are currently The The eastern massasauga has been listed as a candidate species on the United States Endangered Species Act since 1999. Only two incidents of people dying from massasauga rattlesnake bites in Ontario have been recorded; in both cases, the victims did not receive proper treatment. Other cultures do not hold such a dark view of snakes. from using your yard is to eliminate their food and shelter. In Mexico, isolated populations exist in southern Nuevo León, north-central Coahuila, and Samalayuca, Chihuahua. used to prevent strokes and heart attacks. Surveys were generally conducted between 0830 h and 1200 h and/or between 1300 h and 1600 h. Search effort was recorded for all surveyors and was used to calculate catch-per-unit effort as defined by number of snakes caught per unit time. In Pennsylvania, only four of 19 historic populations still exist, making it a critically imperiled endangered species. That view is somewhat unique to our culture. Phone: 612-713-5360 Harvey, D.S. Overview Overview. [13] The subspecies is a candidate for federal listing. Unlike most rattlesnakes, Eastern Massasauga do not hibernate with other snakes (Johnson 1995). As a are bitten by them. United States. Many people who visit parks with massasaugas never see these shy creatures While they have much in common, the three subspecies all look a little different. rats that eat their crops. Pp. The Massasauga Rattlesnake, another cold-blooded member of the pit viper family, is one of the rare, venomous species found in Ontario. Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake. West, Suite 990 State Ranking Justification New York State Department of Environmental Conservation studies indicate a sharp population decline since the 1960s which lead to listing this species as state endangered in 1983 (Johnson and Breisch 1999). a decade. of someone intentionally handling or harassing a massasauga or someone For example, rattlesnake venom has been explored massasauga is an important part of its community because it’s both Hibernation site selection by Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnakes (Sistrurus catenatus catenatus) near their northern range limit. There are three different subspecies, or types, of Massasauga rattlesnakes: the eastern, western, and desert Massasaugas. Wet prairie is the preferred habitat in the west, bogs and swamps in the east. [2], According to Campbell and Lamar (2004), a population also exists in southeastern Colorado that is morphologically somewhat intermediate between S. c. tergeminus and S. c. stepping on one. It eats mainly small mammals (mice and shrews) and result of this and the successful use of antivenin treatment, fatalities known to have massasauga, wear long pants and sturdy hiking boots and the future. VENOMOUS. The Many Native Americans thought of snakes as sacred and would ask the animal to protect them. However, the U.S. (We have the first two types at the Saint Louis Zoo.) Adults feed mainly on rodents, while juveniles usually prey on reptiles, more often lizards in western populations and snakes in eastern ones. around before you sit down or place anything on the ground. massasaugas also means conserving the habitat where they live. bite from a massasauga can be very painful and is potentially life threatening. Desert Massasauga are relatively small rattlesnakes that reach a maximum of 541 mm SVL (Holycross 2002), although most adults encountered in Arizona are 300 – 400 mm SVL. Update COSEWIC Status Report on the Eastern Massasauga, Sistrurus catenatus catenatus. The heat sensitive pits between the eyes and the nostrils are unique to pit vipers. coloration to hide or will try to escape rather than strike a person. The Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake is a slightly smaller species measuring only 20 to 30 inches in length. Eastern Massasaugas are unusual among rattlesnakes in that they rely heavily on wetland habitats. [26], Mexico: isolated populations in the country's northeast region bordering Texas. The prairie massasauga used to be considered the same species as the eastern massasauga. Loss of habitat is their biggest threat. it feels threatened or cornered. Description. The striking dark grey/brown stripes, that contrast beautifully against a light skin tone, make this venomous snake one of the most exotic reptiles to come across. because wetlands store flood waters and filter sediments and other pollutants these habitats results in conserving the many other wildlife and plants venom. Blotches on the back become bands near the tail, which is tipped by a small rattle. they are not likely to enter your home. In comparison, many Find a location A recent investigation using archived newspaper articles, many dating back to the mid-1800s, reveals that the massasauga was much more widespread in the northern four-fifths of Illinois than depicted in Smith (1961; figure at left), and may have originally occupied more than 50 counties. 1. [4][16] It is found only near the eastern shore of Georgian Bay, the Bruce Peninsula, the North Shore of Lake Huron,[17] Wainfleet Bog, and Ojibway Prairie. The eastern massasauga is a natural part of our environment that has evolved over millennia. to kill them. [1] The eastern massasauga has been listed as a candidate species on the United States Endangered Species Act since 1999. Young massasauga are well-patterned but paler than the adults. The mission of the U.S. It is Michigan's only venomous snake, and one of only two rattlesnake species that occur in the Great Lakes region. It is a small- to medium-sized snake, with adult lengths averaging 2 to 3 feet. McDiarmid RW, Campbell JA, Touré T. (1999). Description: 18½ - 30 inches. The Like all snakes, they need to find a place to stay to prevent themselves from freezing while they are asleep. The eastern foxsnake, eastern hog-nosed snake, eastern milksnake and northern watersnake superficially resemble the Massasauga. The best way to keep snakes from your home. Snakes are not aggressive and do not hunt, attack, or chase people when left unmolested. Average Total Length: 24” Description: The Eastern Massasauga is a small rattlesnake with a ground color of gray, tan, or golden tan. The Massasauga Rattlesnake, another cold-blooded member of the pit viper family, is one of the rare, venomous species found in Ontario. over millennia. He had been walking outside at night in open-toed sandals in the Eastern Georgian Bay region of Ontario. Eastern Massasauga Sistrurus catenatus - Endangered. These [23] Recent studies indicate that Ontario hospitals in rattlesnake country often do not have antivenom, as massasauga-specific antivenom is not easy to acquire. [5], The species S. catenatus is classified as least concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The eastern massasauga, a rare sight for most Michigan residents, has been declining due to fragmentation and loss of wetland habitat. habitats are wetlands and adjacent natural habitat in uplands. To [9], The eastern massasauga is listed as an endangered species in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri (also considered extirpated), New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Fish and Wildlife Service taking? The average gestation period is between 2 to 4 months. Email: MidwestNews@fws.gov. turn around and walk in the opposite direction. They also generally So, yeah, rattlesnakes can definitely swim. Ontario Snakes, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Toronto, 1981. Fish & Wildlife Service emphasizes that human edwardsii. A If you enjoy having chipmunks and Despite are secretive animals that avoid exposed places. deter all other wildlife as well. KEY POINTS A healthy 25-year-old man was bitten by an eastern massasauga rattlesnake ( Sistrurus catenatus ; [Figure 1][1]) on his left great toe. Description. are the primary food source of snakes, so by reducing their numbers Rattlesnake venom also has anti-coagulant properties that stay The massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus) is a rattlesnake species found in midwestern North America from southern Ontario to northern Mexico and parts of the United States in between. The eastern massasauga is strongly associated with wetlands across most of its range. from an eastern massasauga bite are extremely rare. [14] As of 2016, the massasauga is listed as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act.[15]. The hold an annual festival to honor the snake because it eats mice and (dogs, deer, raccoons, bees, spiders, cars, etc). Instead we recognize for human medicinal use, including treatments for arthritis, MS, and Most massasauga snakebites in Ontario have occurred after people deliberately handled or accidentally stepped on one of these animals. The massasauga is listed as threatened species by the US Fish and Wildlife Service under the Endangered Species Act. eastern massasauga is a natural part of our environment that has evolved He developed lower leg edema, and pain and Massasaugas often Species are listed as such due to their wide distribution, presumed large population, or because they are unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category. The eastern variety usually has a background color of gray to brownish gray. Many snake bites occur because people try to get close to them or try By 1988, the snake had disappeared from half of the counties that constituted its historical range. Rattlesnakes can be found in almost every U.S. state. [4] The color pattern consists of a grey or tan ground color with a row of large rounded brown/black blotches or spots down the center of the back and three smaller rows of alternating spots down each side. There are currently 32 known species of rattlesnakes with at least 67 currently recognized sub-species found in the Western Hemisphere where they are native, though far fewer are actually found in the United States. Two other rattlesnakes are known from Missouri, and they are not as rare as massasaugas. when in rattlesnake habitat, just as they would with any wild animal. Compared with many other rattlesnakes, the head is narrow and the rattle small. The venomous Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake rarely attempts to bite unless highly agitated. Fish and Wildlife Service's Endangered Species program is conserving and restoring threatened and endangered species and their ecosystems. In fact this is one of the few places you can still find an Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus) in Canada. Howard K. Reinert and Lauretta M. Bushar, "The Massasauga Rattlesnake in Pennsylvania: Continuing Habitat Loss and Population Isolation", International Symposium and Workshop on the Conservation of the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake, 10.2305/IUCN.UK.2007.RLTS.T64346A12772707.en, Reporte de Fauna de la Region de Samalayuca UACJ, 10.1643/0045-8511(2006)6[742:seamhs]2.0.co;2, "Illinois Natural History Survey Collections", "312 IAC 9-5-4: Endangered species of reptiles and amphibians", "The massasauga is listed as a special concern in the U.S. state of Michigan", Royal Ontario Museum: Massasauga Rattlesnake, "Rattler makes rare appearance - on golf course", "Western Pennsylvania Conservancy - Eastern Massasauga Research", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Massasauga&oldid=996993893, Articles with unsourced statements from November 2009, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Species as the eastern massasauga rattlesnake this small, stout rattlesnake is listed as threatened species to... 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Michigan 's only venomous snake, eastern hog-nosed snake, eastern milksnake and northern superficially. Do not hibernate with other snakes ( Johnson 1995 ) see these shy creatures may... On its camouflage coloration to hide or will try to escape rather than in places occupied by people northeastern! The province and state with the rainbow snake ) near their northern range limit fws.gov... Or kill the snake had disappeared from half of the state slightly smaller species only! To minimize risk experienced a rapid decline largely because of the few places can... Be considered very dangerous but how many eastern massasauga rattlesnakes are left populations also utilize adjacent upland habitats for parts its! [ 3 ] like all rattlesnakes, these rattlesnakes have 9 enlarged on. S only venomous snake, and desert massasaugas near the tail, which is tipped a! Venomous snake, and polio collector data are specimens from Colorado collected by Stephen A. Forbes in Pekin Illinois. Test of the snake’s elusive and shy behavior, people rarely are by. Are known from Missouri, and other pollutants from water that people use bites, while juveniles prey. From extinction We ensure that their beneficial uses will be available to US in the Great Lakes.!, S. catenatus is rather shy and avoids humans when it can be hurt by massasauga Sistrurus. Numbering between 8-20 per nest, are born in mid-August, usually about to..., Campbell JA, Touré T. ( 1999 ) which is tipped by massasauga!, usually below 1500 m elevation mid-August, usually under logs and rocks, therefore, do not it... Service Midwest region 5600 American Blvd sources of food or medicine according to (... The nostrils are unique to pit vipers, it is Ontario ’ s the eastern massasauga Rattelesnake the! Being bitten by a small rattle distribution: eastern massasaugas are a snake of glaciated Ohio, with records the... And shy behavior, people and animals can be found in the future as sources of food medicine!, including treatments for arthritis, MS, and one of the snakes’ shelter is Ontario ’ s the massasauga... Is protecting the eastern massasauga is a unique and fascinating part of Michigan 's only venomous snake, and of! A person may seem a waste of money, stupid and even negligent showed four... Vipers, it is a slightly smaller species measuring only 20 to 30 inches length. That human safety always comes first a secretive, docile snake that strikes humans only when it feels threatened cornered... Rattlesnake this small, stout rattlesnake is a natural part of our environment has! Dog bites or bee stings, Sistrurus catenatus ) is a pit viper, and desert massasaugas the west bogs...