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, … 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 eastern massasauga has been declining over the past three decades due to loss and fragmentation of its wetland habitat. Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake Threats and Management. July 26, 2005, A Handbook for Land Managers (PDF It may be seen basking on grass, near crayfish burrows or in other open locations. The rattle is developed as the skin is shed. The venomous Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake rarely attempts to bite unless highly agitated. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the eastern massasauga rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus) as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Please turn on JavaScript and try again. Minnesota, New York, Ohio, A rattle is present at the tip of the tail. Wet prairie is the preferred habitat in the west, bogs and swamps in the east. This probably refers to the wet habitats preferred by the eastern and western subspecies. Unfortunately, these activities can cause snake mortality if done improperly or poorly timed. The Botanical Gardens serves as natural habitat for the eastern massasauga rattlesnake. If disturbed it may shake its rattle. Live and Let Live - Oakland County, Michigan Blog, Species Eastern Massasauga, Photo Courtesy of Nicholas Smeenk. Fish and Wildlife Service seeks public comment on draft recovery plan for Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake, Habitat: Open to forested wetlands and adjacent upland areas, Region 3 Lead Office: Chicago, Illinois Field Office, Range: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, The eastern massasauga averages 18 to 30 inches in length. The snake may shed its skin from three to five times in a year. HABITAT: Eastern massasaugas tend to inhabit wetland areas but may also use drier habitats. Rattlesnake bites, while extremely rare in Michigan, can and do occur. Our analysis projects a 90 percent reduction in number of populations over the next 50 years. In Indiana, massasaugas were historically distributed ... An area of suitable habitat where one massasauga was found. Regulatory Status. In many areas massasaugas also use adjacent uplands during part of the year. The word "massasauga" comes from the Chippewa language meaning "great river mouth." They also will eat other snake species and occasionally birds and frogs. State of Illinois Coronavirus Response Site. We know that 38 percent of historical populations have been lost as of 2014 and the status of another 15 percent is uncertain. Massasaugas require habitat for foraging during the warm months and habitat for brumation (hibernation of reptiles) during the cool months of the year (Fogell 2005, Patten 2006). 1.2 MB), Recommended Eastern Massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus) is a State Endangered Species and a Federally Threatened Species. 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. The eastern massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus) is a small rattlesnake considered in decline through much of its range and is listed as endangered in Indiana. It is also known as the 'swamp rattler" and "black snapper." Mating may occur in spring or fall. The mission of the U.S. West, Suite 990 The endangered status of the eastern massasauga is mainly due to habitat loss. Throughout its range, biologists have confirmed that less than half of the eastern massasauga’s historical populations still exist. 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 Fish and Wildlife Service June 2011, Learning to Live with the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake: Expanding Outreach and Education in Southern Michigan Dec. 31, 2009. The Midwest Region includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin. At present, there is no evidence of established breeding populations on the Minnesota side of the Mississippi River (hence … The eastern massasauga, a rare sight for most Michigan residents, has been declining due to fragmentation and loss of wetland habitat. Populations of the subspecies are found in Iowa, Nebraska, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas (Mackessy 2005). 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). 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. The Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake (EMR) is listed as a threatened species under the U.S. Young snakes depend more on cold-blooded prey, particularly frogs. They intend to move to open meadows and grasslands during the summer. Fish and Wildlife Service, announce the availability of the draft recovery plan for the threatened eastern massasauga rattlesnake. Natural predators for the massasauga, particularly the eggs and young, include hawks, skunks, raccoons, and foxes. They will shift the habitats they use, depending on the season. U.S. U.S.FWS Species profile about species listing status, federal register publications, recovery, critical habitat, conservation planning, petitions, and life history U.S. 171-page PDF, Spotlight Species Action Plan October 2009. Its severe decline is a warning bell tolling the loss of North American wetlands. The eastern massasauga may be found in the northern two-thirds of Illinois. Field Office, Eastern Massasauga - Michigan Society of Herpetologists. Final Environmental Assessment for Eastern Massasauga Candidate Conservation Agreements in the Midwest. Most of the places that it once lived in have been destroyed by the drainage of prairie marshes and for agricultural use. They have been reported to reproduce both annually and biennially in different parts of their range. Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake (, Species Fun Facts The name "Massasauga" comes from a Chippewa Indian word meaning "great river mouth." Counting segments of the rattle is not a good method of aging a snake as the number of segments added each year varies, and segments may be broken or lost. Females give birth to litters of 5 to 20 live young in August or early September. We, the U.S. It lives in wet prairies, bogs and old fields. The eastern massasauga may take shelter in crayfish burrows or other underground cavities. The body is gray. The massasauga is listed as threatened species by the US Fish and Wildlife Service under the Endangered Species Act. This snake is active in the day, except in the hottest summer months when it becomes nocturnal. The eastern massasauga is strongly associated with wetlands across most of its range. Since the massasauga requires open space, the habitat that remains is threatened by becoming overgrown by trees and shrubs. Massasaugas feed primarily on small mammals such as voles, moles, jumping mice, and shrews. The eastern massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus catenatus), one of three subspecies of massasauga, occurs in the upper Midwest and southern Ontario. In late 2016, the 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. View up to date information on how Illinois is handling the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) from the 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). Each time the skin is shed a new segment is added to the rattle. Habitat Eastern Massasaugas have been found in a variety of wetland habitats. There are a number of signs posted on the grounds to alert guests to the potential presence of the rattlesnakes. The Act protects the EMR and their habitat by prohibiting “take” and may require federal agencies to coordinate with the U.S. The eastern massasauga may take shelter in crayfish burrows or other underground cavities. Three subspecies are currently recognized including the nominate subspecies described here. Habitat loss and Fragmentation. We prepared a Species Status Assessment to assess the eastern massasauga’s current and projected future ability to survive. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) before 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). Generally, they use wetlands in the spring, fall, and winter. These habitats are used by massasaugas from early fall to late spring. August 2006, Final Environmental Assessment for Eastern Massasauga Candidate Conservation Agreements in the Midwest. Find a location Fish & Wildlife Service ECOS Environmental Conservation Online System 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). It is listed as an endangered species in Indiana, and is Federally threatened. 9-Page PDF, Rome State Nature Preserve Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances Ashtabula County, Ohio. 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 pupil of each eye is vertically elliptical. 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. Endangered Species Act (Act). Habitat destruction, degradation, and fragmentation are among the most serious causes of EMR past and current EMR population declines. A button at the tip of the tail is present at birth. Unfortunately, the habitat of the eastern massasauga is being destroyed. These rattlesnakes can be found in central New York State and southern Ontario, Canada. Spotlight: Eastern Massasauga - USFWS Chicago 4-page PDF. Generally, they use wetlands in the spring, fall, and winter. 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). Fish and Wildlife Service's Endangered Species program is conserving and restoring threatened and endangered species and their ecosystems. The Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake (EMR) is listed as a threatened species under the U.S. Phone: 612-713-5360 Distribution and Habitat Geographic Range. State of Illinois Coronavirus Response Site. 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. It is currently known from less than 10 Illinois populations. Spatial ecology, habitat preference, and habitat management of the eastern massasauga, Sistrurus c. catenatus, in a New York weaklyminerotrophic peatland. We request review and comment on this draft recovery plan from local, State, and Federal agencies, and the public. We have information indicating that 267 of the historical populations still exist today. 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. Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake (Sistrurus catenatus catenatus) (66-page PDF ; 2.3MB). This is because of its habitat of swamps, which are often found around the mouths of rivers. Eastern massasauga rattlesnakes can reach up to 30 inches in length. The presence of water that does not freeze is critical for suitabile hibernaculum. 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. Bloomington, MN 55437-1458, Contact Us Since the early 1900s damming, road building, surface mining and urbanization have destroyed large amounts of Pennsylvania’s massasauga habitat. In Indiana the eastern massasauga is rare and populations are limited to the northern half of the state. (photo by Taylor Lehman) They will shift the habitats they use, depending on the season. In summer, snakes migrate to drier, upland sites, ranging from forest openings to old fields, agricultural lands and prairies. The eastern massasauga may be found in the northern two-thirds of Illinois. Habitat: Massasaugas live in wet areas including wet prairies, marshes and low areas along rivers and lakes. mowing, prescribed fire) to maintain these conditions. This snake is active in the day, except in the hottest summer months when it becomes nocturnal. Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Ontario, 60-second Snakes: Eastern Masasauga Rattlesnake. The Massasauga can be found in wet prairies in their western range and bogs and swamps in the eastern part of their range. They can be found throughout the central United States and as far north as Canada. Habitat Eastern massasauga rattlesnakes are usually found in damp lowland habitats such as swamps, marshes, wet prairies, and bottomland forests. The name 'massasauga' means 'great river mouth' in the Chippewa language. Habitat of Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake These species usually like to dwell on wetlands, swamps, and marshes. Natural Habitat. In summer, snakes migrate to drier, upland sites, ranging from forest openings to old fields, agricultural lands and prairies. 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. A series of spots and saddles are arranged down the back and sides. The Act protects the EMR and their habitat by prohibiting “take” and may require agencies to coordinate with the U.S. Eastern massasauga (EMR) are an early successional species requiring habitat management practices (i.e. They can also be found westward to the prairies of Iowa and Missouri. The female gives birth to four to 20 young in August or September, the number depending on her size and age. Females mature after three to four years and reproduce every other year. 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. Email: MidwestNews@fws.gov, Range-wide Extinction Risk Modeling for the The draining and dredging of wetlands is the primary cause of the habitat loss. 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. 5600 American Blvd. Massasaugas usually hibernate in wetlands in crayfish or small mammal burrows. Average Total Length: 24” Description: The Eastern Massasauga is a small rattlesnake with a ground color of gray, tan, or golden tan. Its head is flattened and much wider than the neck. It looks like your browser does not have JavaScript enabled. The more its marshy haunts are drained and developed, the more the snake is pushed onto islands of habitat where survival is difficult. 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. A Species Survival Plan® is a collaborative science-based management program of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Endangered Species Act (Act). It lives in wet prairies, bogs and old fields. It has a heat-sensitive pit on each side of the head between the eye and the nostril. We also determined that designating critical habitat for the eastern massasauga is not prudent. The venom of the Massasauga rattlesnake is hemolytic, which means it causes the breakdown of … Like all rattlesnakes, it is a pit viper, and like all pit vipers, it is venomous. 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. eastern massasauga habitat is open-canopy areas for activities such as gestation and digestion, which require active thermoregulation (Reinert and Kodrich 1982, Johnson 1995). Midwest Region Distribution: Eastern Massasaugas are a snake of glaciated Ohio, with records throughout the northern and western region of the state. 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. 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 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. Scales are keeled (ridged). They inhabit at a height below 1500 m above sea level. The dramatic decline of the eastern massasauga is alarming. A row of dark blotches is present down the back, and there are three rows of dark spots on the sides. The eastern massasauga was first listed as a candidate species in 1982. Female massasaugas reach sexual maturity at three or four years of age. Past and current EMR population declines the status of the historical populations still today... Prairies of Iowa and Missouri haunts are drained and developed, the of. Three decades due to loss and fragmentation are among the most serious causes of EMR past and EMR. 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