On the same day, they encountered a tail-slapping beaver and stumbled upon a buck. This much is known: the Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake … Rattlesnake bites, while extremely rare in Michigan, can and do occur. Sharks are common, big fish are common, but seeing an endangered animal – it’s definitely the rarest sight we’ve seen,” Jonathan said. By rattlesnake standards, massasauga rattlers are small, averaging about 2 feet long as adults, reaching a maximum of about 30 inches. Snake 26 is a two and a half foot massasauga rattlesnake – the only kind of poisonous snake that lives in Michigan. Beltz, E. 1992. Veterinary Dr. Noni Greene said Dexter was bitten by a massasauga rattlesnake, the only rattlesnake native to Michigan. Nearly one- third of the historical occurrences in the state has not been reconfirmed in the past ten years. Therefore, massasaugas may still be present in areas that lack recent, as well as historical, records. Subscribe to MLive.com. Milwaukee Public Museum, Milwaukee, WI. Unpublished report to the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 3 Office, Fort Snelling, MN. The eastern massasauga was once common across its range but has declined dramatically since the mid-1970's, according to a 1998 eastern massasauga status assessment conducted by the U.S. SUNY, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, NY. King, R. S. 1997. Moore and Gillingham (2006) followed the general movement patterns of massasaugas at a fen in Michigan and found emergence from hibernacula occurred in early to mid-April, then the snakes moved out of buckthorn dominated scrub\shrub or lowland hardwood floodplain to open and slightly higher elevation (approximately 5015m) emergent or scrub/shrub wetland during summer. Interestingly, the Southern tip of the state is the only place you will find the other species on this list. 31 pp. MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer. Female massasaugas reach sexual maturity at three or four years of age, after which they have been reported to reproduce both annually and biennially in different parts of their range (Reinert 1981, Seigel 1986, Harding 1997). Master's Thesis: Habitat utilization, diet and behavior of the eastern massasauga (S. c. catenatus) in southern Michigan. Snakes emerge from their hibernacula in early spring when air temperatures exceed soil temperatures. The dog was given a $900 … Moore, J. Szymanski, J. These snakes are most commonly found in rocky areas in the arid Nevada climate, however the Great Basin Rattlesnake is a habitat generalist and can be found … “I was like, ‘No way!’” he said. Within the last decade, eastern massasaugas have been reported from about 150 sites in 50 counties. Dissertation. 16: 162-171. They also will consume other snake species and occasionally birds and frogs. The snake’s high-frequency hiss, triangular head and narrow neck were a give-away, Jonathan said. To report sightings and learn more about the massasauga, please visit the Michigan DNR’s page on the species at Eastern massasauga. Mating occurs in the spring, summer and fall (Reinert 1981, Vogt 1981, Harding 1997). Preliminary findings of a habitat use and movement patterns study of the eastern massasauga rattlesnake in Wisconsin. Johnson, G. 1995. Status assessment for the eastern massasauga (Sistrurus c. catenatus). He decided not to touch it. 2008. They have also been listed as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. 1993. With the death of Siegfried Fischbacher so closes the last chapter to one of the most unique show biz productions on the planet. Amer. In fact, Michigan is a stronghold for the eastern massasauga rattlesnake. 1998. The University of Michigan Press, Ann Arbor, MI. The most recent information on mean home ranges for massasaugas in Wisconsin and Missouri is 9 acres for females, 13 for gravid females, 95 for males, and 2 for neonates (Durbian et al. Young massasaugas are more dependent on cold-blooded prey, particularly frogs (Vogt 1981). Small children and people in poor health are thought to be at greatest risk. 2006. Instead, he let the snake out onto his paddle and Jessica took pictures. Michigan is one of a few states that has a significant wolf population, but all of the roughly 630 animals in the state were believed to be residing in the Upper Peninsula. After hearing comments from those who’ve seen the photos, Jonathan said he’s thankful he was the one to encounter the snake. To examine the current status of the eastern massasauga rattlesnake at INDU, both active searching and passive collection were used. Fish and Wildlife Service, Fort Snelling, MN. Dept. They have a heart-shaped head and vertical pupils – not the type of snake that you’ll want to bump into. Tracking rattlesnakes. It prefers to avoid detection by hiding under vegetation, woody debris or other cover or remaining motionless and relying on its cryptic coloration. After … 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). 1999. Anyone who is bitten should seek professional medical attention. Vogt, R. C. 1981. Unpublished report to the Illinois Department of Conservation, Division Natural Heritage, Springfield, IL. Manage.72(3):754-759. Community Rules apply to all content you upload or otherwise submit to this site. He estimates the snake was 27 to 29 inches long. Unpublished report to the U.S. Historically, they could be found in a variety of wetlands and nearby upland woods throughout the lower peninsula. He didn’t try to come toward me, didn’t try to get off of the paddle, he was just totally chill.”. Rattlesnake bites, while rare in Michigan, can and do occur. Specifically, all known sites appear to be characterized by the following: (1) open, sunny areas intermixed with shaded areas, presumably for thermoregulation; (2) presence of the water table near the surface for hibernation; and (3) variable elevations between adjoining lowland and upland habitats (Beltz 1992). This species tends to hibernate singly or in small groups of two or three (Johnson and Menzies 1993). They say that Massasaugas are found throughout the Lower Peninsula, but not in the Upper Peninsula and that they are becoming rare in many parts of their former range, due to wetland habitat loss and persecution by humans. Michigan appears to be the last stronghold for this species with more massasauga populations currently than any other state or province within the species' range. © 2021 Advance Local Media LLC. 155-164 in Fifteenth North American Prairie Conference Proceedings, edited by C. Warwick. 17 pp. King (1997) reported mean home ranges of approximately 5 to 7 acres for neonates and gravid females, 17 acres for non-gravid females and 398 acres for males. 1991. Metro Toronto Zoo, Ontario, Canada. Unpublished discussion paper for Canadian Parks Service. “She was a bit concerned,” Jonathan said. Durbian, F. E., R. S. King, T. Crabill, H. Lambert-Doherty, and R. A. Seigel. The females give birth to litters of 5 to 20 live young in August or early September in mammal burrows or fallen logs in the uplands (Vogt 1981, Harding 1997). It is best described as a buzzing sound, similar to one made by a bee stuck in a spider web. Legge, J. T. and M. R. Rabe. “It was the calmest snake I’ve ever interacted with,” Jonathan said. Spring emergence typically starts in late March and early April as groundwater levels rise and ground temperature approaches air temperature (Harding 1997, Szymanski 1998). “But I was stoked. Reinert, H. K. 1981. Two Michigan residents bitten by rare rattlesnake in one month The Hothams aren’t foreign to nature. U.S. Geological Survey, Porter, IN, for National Park Service Great Lakes Inventory and Monitoring … of Zool., Michigan State Univ., E. Lansing, MI. Conserv. But the recent uptick in rattlesnake sightings in the Bay Area has nothing to do with the global pandemic: It's the weather. “He was totally happy just sitting there and being out of the water. Rattlesnakes: Their habits, life histories, and influence on mankind, 2nd ed. Oregon: The Natural Areas Association. Spatial ecology and multi-scale habitat selection by a threatened rattlesnake: The Eastern massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus catenatus). Anyone who is bitten should seek professional medical attention. The eastern massasauga is primarily associated with wetland habitats but some populations also utilize adjacent upland habitats for parts of its life history. There have been 150 site reports in 5 counties over the last decade. It is protected as a federally threatened species under the Endangered Species Act. Still, it poses little to no threat to humans. Michigan DNR Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake 60-Second Snakes Video; Life History & Michigan History. On the same day, they encountered a tail-slapping beaver and stumbled upon a buck. Michigan's only venomous snake is a rare sight for most state residents. In southeast Michigan, the eastern massasauga rattlesnake depends on open-herbaceous wetland habitat for surviving cold Midwest winters. Although the temperaments of individual snakes vary widely, this species is generally considered non-aggressive. Reptiles are found throughout Michigan, although the only venomous species, the eastern massasauga rattlesnake, is seen only in the Lower Peninsula. Amphibians and reptiles of the Great Lakes region. Michigan has the largest population of Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnakes in the country, despite the population declining. 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