51. Third edition. 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. The massasauga is native to the lower peninsula of Michigan and several other Great Lakes states. Eastern Massasauga This rattlesnake can also be identified by the nine large scales on the crown of the head, similar to most non-venomous snakes. Seigel, R. A. The breeding season generally takes place during May or June, but mating can occur almost anytime from late April until September. 1992. However, Eastern Hog-nosed Snake has an upturned snout and lacks a rattle. New York State Museum Bull. Development, agriculture, unregulated hunting, snake collecting are all present threats. State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry Although normally active during the daylight hours, massasaugas may resort to evening and nighttime activity to escape the mid-summer heat. Natural Habitat. Anthropogenic factors are the most significant threat to Eastern Massasauga populations. Gestating areas and hibernacula in New York are on protected land which offers some protection. The eastern massasauga can remain undetected with the help of its pattern, even at close range. Movements and habitat utilization by the massasauga, Sistrurus catenatus catenatus. Species synopsis: Previously recognized as a subspecies, eastern massasauga was recently recognized as a distinct species, Sistrurus catenatus (USFWS 2011). As this species is vulnerable to illegal collection and persecution, no naturally occurring populations are listed. Rattlesnakes can be found in almost every U.S. state. of San Diego, Univ. There is no rattle. Estimating abundance for a declining population of the eastern massasauga rattlesnake, Sistrurus catenatus catenatus, in Cicero, NY: application of multiple methods. Ecology and Conservation of an Endangered Rattlesnake, Sistrurus catenatus, in Missouri, U. S. A. Biol. Newborn snakes have a single button for a rattle. 1993. The timber rattlesnake's head is covered with numerous small scales. Harvey, D. S., and P. J. Weatherhead. 28:255-257. Online Conservation Guide for Chambers, R.E. New York Natural Heritage Program. Johnson, Glenn and Alvin Breisch. The eastern massasauga is a small venomous rattlesnake found in the northeastern United States. 2008. Conserv. 1999. Gloyd, H. 1940. Naturally occurring succession plays an important role as well, continually reducing the amount and quality of suitable habitat left. Herbicides can help increase the intervals between treatments, however little is known about how herbicides affect snakes (Johnson et al. This guide was authored by: Shaw, Hollie Y. The adult massasauga, also known as the "swamp rattler," is a stout-bodied snake with a broad head. Species at risk: Eastern Massasuaga rattlesnake. … Wildlife Resources Center. Natural history of amphibians and reptiles of Wisconsin. 1983. 16:162-171. The eastern massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus catenatus) is currently known from two locations in New York State. Populations of this snake have declined so much that it is now necessary to work to conserve it or it could go extinct in the future. In New York, massasaugas hibernate from late October through late April in low, wet areas, often under sphagnum hummocks. The belly is usually black with light mottling. Behler, J. L. and F. W. King. 2000). State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The species S. catenatus is classified as least concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. of California Press, Berkeley. Endangered Species Unit. Enter Search Term(s): Search DEC Home » Animals, Plants, Aquatic Life » Amphibians & Reptiles » Herp Atlas Project » Species of Lizards and Snakes Found in New York » Eastern Massasauga Distribution Map Amphibians and Reptiles of the Great Lakes Region. Map adapted from Conant and Collins (1998) and Harding (1997). When threatened, this species flattens it head, similar to a cobra or flips over and plays dead. Thesis. Although the massasauga rattlesnake is thought to be in decline throughout much of its range, The vegetation may be sparse or patchy, with numerous rock outcrops. Habitat Management for the Eastern Massasauga in a Central New York Peatland. Outreach to landowners concerning practices that could benefit them and the snakes is also an option to help maintain or expand suitable habitat. Accessed January 20, 2021. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Conservationist 39(3):35. Wet prairie is the preferred … Eastern massasauga is a stout, thick-bodied snake that ranges from 45 to 100 cm (18 to 40 in) in length. Venomous Reptiles of North America. While abundant in some areas, the timber rattlesnake population has severely declined in numbers and distribution (about 50-75%) in New York State due to unregulated collection, indiscriminate killing, and habitat destruction. A Field Guide to Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern and Central North America. Snakes of eastern North America. Ernst, C. H. 1992. Courtship and mating occurs August through September and females give birth to live young from mid-August to mid-September the following year (Johnson 1995). The hummocks are also used as a place for bearing young and, most importantly, for hibernation during winter months. Critically Imperiled in New York - Especially vulnerable to disappearing from New York due to extreme rarity or other factors; typically 5 or fewer populations or locations in New York, very few individuals, very restricted range, very few remaining acres (or miles of stream), and/or very steep declines. Weatherhead, P. J., and K. A. New York Natural Heritage Program Databases. Post-glacial changes affecting habitat conditions worked against the massasauga, eliminating the preferred prairie habitats in the eastern half of the range. Eastern Massasauga hibernate in pockets associated with wetlands. New Yorkers who call areas between Syracuse and Rochester home should keep an eye out for these guys, the smallest of our state's venomous snakes that are only 1 to 3-feet in size. 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. + appdx. Forest habitat for reptiles and amphibians of the northeast. The massasauga rattlesnake is the smallest of the three venomous snakes found in New York State, the other two being the timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) and the copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix).Derived from the Chippewa language, "massasauga" translates to "great river-mouth" and probably refers to the snake's preference for wet habitats, including riverine … Krofta (2007) suggests a minimum population of 200-300 adults and subadults at each site to be considered stable. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Rudis. 282 pp. The two remaining sites in New York are safe from development, though natural succession is making them less suitable as time goes by. J. Herpetol. Historically, this species was once considered abundant at known locations (Johnson et al. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. 1986. 2000). New York Natural Heritage Program. This species has a series or loose scales at the end of the tail that vibrates (rattles). The eastern massasauga is strongly associated with wetlands across most of its range. The timber rattlesnake, commonly known as a canebrake rattlesnake, is a species of venomous pit viper found in the eastern region of the US, according to Snake Facts. Males and non-gravid female use similar upland habitat while gravid females remain close to hibernacula. Sistrurus catenatus (Rafinesque, 1818). Rattlesnake Symposium. Studies should be conducted to find as many hibernating sites as possible because altering these sites could negatively impact the population. Herbivory can help control vegetation growth and may be suitable in some areas (Johnson and Briesch 1999). Unlike most rattlesnakes, Eastern Massasauga do not hibernate with other snakes (Johnson 1995). Eastern Massasauga use different habitat seasonally. This species is confined to two sites in the state: one in Onondaga County and one in Genesee County. 9 states where it is present; in New York, the eastern massasauga is known from only 2 sites. Hibernation site selection by eastern massasauga rattlesnakes (Sistrurus catenatus catenatus) near their northern range limit. 2008). Fish and Wildlife Service protects the eastern massasauga rattlesnake under the Endangered Species Act. Some adults, however, are all black. (Harvey and Weatherhead 2006, Johnson 1995, Johnson et al. New York Natural Heritage Program, a program of the A field guide to reptiles and amphibians: eastern and central North America. It may be necessary to create site-specific management plans. All three are uncommon. Until outlawed in 1971, there was a bounty in certain counties in Northern New York for the rattles of these snakes. Metro Toronto Zoo. Albany, NY. Otherwise, the two can be differentiated by the scalation on the head; the Eastern Massasauga has nine plates on the crown of its head instead of the numerous small scales found on the Timber Rattlesnake (Conant and … New York State Conservationist: 22-23 and 26. J. Herpetol. Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Massachusetts. 26:447-452. Canopy cover is quite variable, ranging from open canopy woodlands with as little as 20% cover of evenly spaced canopy trees to closed canopy forests with 80 to 90% cover. Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake This is the smallest of the three venomous snakes in New York, with an average size of 1 to 3 feet in length. George Mason Univ. Krofta, Alex T. 2007. July 11, 2019. Locations that provide open sunny areas with elevated hummocks for basking as well as shaded areas for retreat are ideal. 1998. However, the rattlesnake that you find in Alabama is likely to be a different species to the one you would find in California. Throughout most of its range, the distribution is decidedly disjunct, with many miles separating populations. Natural Areas Journal 10:219-220. (, Northern white cedar rocky summit 12054. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C. ix + 236 pp. 1981. The characteristic trees are black spruce and tamarack; in any one stand, either tree may be dominant, or they may be codominant. Available from: https://guides.nynhp.org/eastern-massasauga/. A wetland that occurs on a bed of marl. Succession has been identified as the major factor negatively affecting the massasauga. Milksnake is a thin-bodied snake with a 'V' or 'Y' -shaped mark on the head or neck and smooth scales. Massasaugas give birth to live young; they do not lay eggs. Although the massasauga rattlesnake is thought to be in decline throughout much of its range, only the eastern subspecies (Sistrurus c. catenatus) is currently under Eastern Hog-nosed Snake is a medium-sized, thick-bodied snake like Eastern Massasauga. United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service Eastern Region, Milwaukee, WI. J. Herpetol. Klauber, L. M. 1972. Second edition. The eastern massasauga, in danger of extinction. Conant, R. and J. T. Collins. This is one of the smallest venomous snakes in North America. 26-33. If used, the best time to apply herbicides is at the end of the growing season, just before the leaves fall (Johnson et al. In New York, eastern massasauga currently occur in two large wetland complexes near Syracuse and Rochester, separate from one another and from the rest of the geographic distribution. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Swamp rattler. The massasauga rattlesnake is the smallest of the three venomous snakes found in New York State, the other two being the timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) and the copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix). Experimental habitat management has also been Carried out. 2000). They are also killed because people fear snakes in general and mistakenly perceive them to be a threat. (518) 402-8935. J. Herpetol. Eastern massasaugas currently live in an area that extends from central New York and southern Ontario to southern Iowa and includes eight states and one Canadian province. Conant and Collins 1991 ) northern and western region of the eastern massasauga ( c.! Single button for a rattle fields in search of prey or patchy, with many separating! Into nearby woods and fields in search of prey ( Johnson et al development, agriculture, Service! While gravid females remain in wetlands until 10 to 12 days after parturition ( 1995... The eye to the rear of the jaw in glaciated parts of western and central North America drier, areas! 1992, pp frequent other wet, lowland habitats, including monitoring control! A lighter border extends from the eye to the prairies of Iowa and Missouri,. 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