Regulatory Status. They often hibernate in crayfish burrows but may also be found under logs and tree roots or in small mammal burrows. HABITAT: Eastern massasaugas tend to inhabit wetland areas but may also use drier habitats. The massasauga is listed as threatened species by the US Fish and Wildlife Service under the Endangered Species Act. 171-page PDF, Spotlight Species Action Plan October 2009. U.S.FWS Species profile about species listing status, federal register publications, recovery, critical habitat, conservation planning, petitions, and life history U.S. June 2011, Learning to Live with the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake: Expanding Outreach and Education in Southern Michigan Dec. 31, 2009. A series of spots and saddles are arranged down the back and sides. In late 2016, the U.S. If disturbed it may shake its rattle. The eastern massasauga may be found in the northern two-thirds of Illinois. mowing, prescribed fire) to maintain these conditions. We, the U.S. At present, there is no evidence of established breeding populations on the Minnesota side of the Mississippi River (hence … It is listed as an endangered species in Indiana, and is Federally threatened. In Indiana, massasaugas were historically distributed ... An area of suitable habitat where one massasauga was found. Our analysis projects a 90 percent reduction in number of populations over the next 50 years. The body is gray. It lives in wet prairies, bogs and old fields. 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. Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Like all rattlesnakes, it is a pit viper, and like all pit vipers, it is venomous. Generally, they use wetlands in the spring, fall, and winter. They can also be found westward to the prairies of Iowa and Missouri. The eastern massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus) is a small rattlesnake considered in decline through much of its range and is listed as endangered in Indiana. Unfortunately, the habitat of the eastern massasauga is being destroyed. In summer, snakes migrate to drier, upland sites, ranging from forest openings to old fields, agricultural lands and prairies. Its occurrence in Minnesota is based on a few reliable sightings in the southeast part of the state, and one specimen whose collection location is questionable. 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. The endangered status of the eastern massasauga is mainly due to habitat loss. 5600 American Blvd. These rattlesnakes can be found in central New York State and southern Ontario, Canada. Habitat destruction, degradation, and fragmentation are among the most serious causes of EMR past and current EMR population declines. Habitat Eastern Massasaugas have been found in a variety of wetland habitats. View up to date information on how Illinois is handling the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) from the It is also known as the 'swamp rattler" and "black snapper." The female gives birth to four to 20 young in August or September, the number depending on her size and age. This is because of its habitat of swamps, which are often found around the mouths of rivers. Michigan is Main Focus of Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake Survival Plan, Managing for Massasaugas - Edward Lowe Foundation | Land Stewardship. We know that 38 percent of historical populations have been lost as of 2014 and the status of another 15 percent is uncertain. 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). Average Total Length: 24” Description: The Eastern Massasauga is a small rattlesnake with a ground color of gray, tan, or golden tan. Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus catenatus) (66-page PDF ; 2.3MB). Its head is flattened and much wider than the neck. Email: MidwestNews@fws.gov, Range-wide Extinction Risk Modeling for the A button at the tip of the tail is present at birth. They inhabit at a height below 1500 m above sea level. The rattle is developed as the skin is shed. Since the early 1900s damming, road building, surface mining and urbanization have destroyed large amounts of Pennsylvania’s massasauga habitat. Massasaugas feed primarily on small mammals such as voles, moles, jumping mice, and shrews. It has a heat-sensitive pit on each side of the head between the eye and the nostril. The eastern massasauga may take shelter in crayfish burrows or other underground cavities. Midwest Region Female massasaugas reach sexual maturity at three or four years of age. Spatial ecology, habitat preference, and habitat management of the eastern massasauga, Sistrurus c. catenatus, in a New York weaklyminerotrophic peatland. We have information indicating that 267 of the historical populations still exist today. The name 'massasauga' means 'great river mouth' in the Chippewa language. The venom of the Massasauga rattlesnake is hemolytic, which means it causes the breakdown of … They have been reported to reproduce both annually and biennially in different parts of their range. Distribution and Habitat Geographic Range. We request review and comment on this draft recovery plan from local, State, and Federal agencies, and the public. Their cryptic coloration—irregularly dark saddles alternating against a lighter background—helps them blend into the leaves and branches of their wetland habitat, and their tail ends in a namesake "rattle," a collection of modified scales. They also will eat other snake species and occasionally birds and frogs. Fish and Wildlife Service's Endangered Species program is conserving and restoring threatened and endangered species and their ecosystems. Habitat Eastern massasauga rattlesnakes are usually found in damp lowland habitats such as swamps, marshes, wet prairies, and bottomland forests. 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. Each time the skin is shed a new segment is added to the rattle. The eastern massasauga may be found in the northern two-thirds of Illinois. Three subspecies are currently recognized including the nominate subspecies described here. 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 Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake (EMR) is listed as a threatened species under the U.S. Females mature after three to four years and reproduce every other year. Find a location This snake is active in the day, except in the hottest summer months when it becomes nocturnal. 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. 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. 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. 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. These habitats are used by massasaugas from early fall to late spring. Standard Survey Protocol. The eastern massasauga may take shelter in crayfish burrows or other underground cavities. The Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake (EMR) is listed as a threatened species under the U.S. State of Illinois Coronavirus Response Site. Massasaugas usually hibernate in wetlands in crayfish or small mammal burrows. The southwestern portion of the snake’s range will see the most severe declines with a predicted 97 percent loss of historical populations over the next 50 years. The Act protects the EMR and their habitat by prohibiting “take” and may require federal agencies to coordinate with the U.S. Live and Let Live - Oakland County, Michigan Blog, Species 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. The Botanical Gardens serves as natural habitat for the eastern massasauga rattlesnake. 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. It is currently known from less than 10 Illinois populations. A row of dark blotches is present down the back, and there are three rows of dark spots on the sides. Generally, they use wetlands in the spring, fall, and winter. The word "massasauga" comes from the Chippewa language meaning "great river mouth." The eastern massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus catenatus), one of three subspecies of massasauga, occurs in the upper Midwest and southern Ontario. Eastern Massasauga, Photo Courtesy of Nicholas Smeenk. Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake (, Species Distribution: Eastern Massasaugas are a snake of glaciated Ohio, with records throughout the northern and western region of the state. It looks like your browser does not have JavaScript enabled. 1.2 MB), Recommended July 26, 2005, A Handbook for Land Managers (PDF They will shift the habitats they use, depending on the season. Archives: Chronological list of previous Federal Register publications, with associated information materials, and other actions pertaining to the Endangered Species Act status of the eastern massasauga. Unfortunately, these activities can cause snake mortality if done improperly or poorly timed. The pupil of each eye is vertically elliptical. 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. It may be seen basking on grass, near crayfish burrows or in other open locations. The presence of water that does not freeze is critical for suitabile hibernaculum. They can be found throughout the central United States and as far north as Canada. There are three general habitat characteristics throughout the Eastern Massasauga range: (1) a mix of open, sunny areas and some shade for thermoregulation, (2) water table near the surface that does not freeze for hibernation, and (3) variable elevation for foraging (Szymanski 1998). 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