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Old 06-17-17, 08:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Eastern Massasauga Found

I know I already have a field herp thread open....but I thought this was worthy of its own thread... On June 8th I found this little gem....An eastern massasauga rattlesnake. An awesome animal to observe and photograph, he/she was very patient. It rattled but never tried to strike while I was taking photos. Thanks for looking All of my other finds from the day will be in my 2017 Herp thread.






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Old 06-18-17, 10:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Eastern Massasauga Found

Love the updated photos! I believe these guys are pretty rare here in Illinois, so this is as close to seeing one as I'll probably ever get. As I stated before great find. Congrats.
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Old 06-25-17, 11:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Eastern Massasauga Found

Very nice. You should join the Herping the Globe group on Facebook and share there as well. People would enjoy seeing him.
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Old 06-26-17, 06:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Eastern Massasauga Found

Thanks guys I'm actually in that group, just don't post herps on facebook much I guess.
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Old 06-26-17, 07:30 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Eastern Massasauga Found

whistle, where are you in IL? I found some in that state before, was not too hard in the right spot.
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Old 06-27-17, 06:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Eastern Massasauga Found

I'm in the southern part of the state. I had thought they were on the state endangered list, but I could be mistaken about that. I haven't ever found any type of rattlesnake in the field, so I figured my chances of seeing a state endangered one would be slim to none. It would love to see one though.
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Old 06-27-17, 07:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Eastern Massasauga Found

They are endangered so you definitely don't want to be seen walking around the densite with a hook but they are not hard to find just highly localized because most of their habitat was mostly destroyed.
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Old 06-28-17, 01:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Eastern Massasauga Found

Those are actually quite common in central Michigan, especially around Hess and several other lakes in the central and West Michigan areas. In a few areas around Hess lake they had to do a round-up and relocated them to other areas. They are not endangered in Michigan but they are protected and none were killed. It got to the point where people were afraid to let their kids or animals out to play. They were found in the thousands in a small area around Hess lake. It's the only rattlesnake found in Michigan other than the pygmy which is very rare and endangered.
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Old 06-28-17, 06:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Eastern Massasauga Found

Are you sure pygmy rattlers are in Michigan? When I lived in MO, they were only in the southern part of the state so I would be surprised if they could live in your climate, but don't have a field guide handy to look.
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Old 06-28-17, 07:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Eastern Massasauga Found

Actually, I think I was wrong. I'd seen them listed as being in Michigan a long time ago but I see nothing on the net about them being this far North so perhaps that info was wrong. As for the Massasauga, Michigan does have the highest population of their range but it is listed as threatened and a "species of special concern" by the Michigan DNR. I believe it is listed as Endangered here federally though. It should be. Its only common where its habitat is still intact and that, Of course, gets smaller by the year.
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. Thus, the eastern massasauga's long-term viability in Michigan has important implications for this species' persistence rangewide. However, Michigan's massasauga population also has declined. The primary reasons for the massasauga's decline in Michigan and rangewide are habitat loss and fragmentation, human persecution or indiscriminant killing, and illegal collection.
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