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Field Collecting/Observing Sightings of herps in the wild, where-tos and how-tos, as well as photos of herps in their native environment.

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Old 05-01-2004, 02:23 PM   #1
Question Massassauga's in Michigan

I was just wondering if anyone has had any luck seeing any Massassauga rattlesnake's in Michigan in the last few years, when I was younger, we had a cottage in the Irish Hills area of michigan, in the Adrian area & nearby in an area referred to as the Onsted game reserve, I used to see loads of these "Michigan Rattlers"... anyway, I've seen a few in the last couple of years, but I feel their numbers are dwindling due to habitat loss & building progress etc... Just thought I'd check , it's a very beautiful species of Rattlesnake, I know I appreciate their contribution to rodent control, Marshall P..
Old 05-01-2004, 08:14 PM   #2
Though I have seen pictures of them I have not seen one in person. They are very pretty. They are also on the list of you will get your hands chopped of if you touch these, LOL.
From what I hear they have gone down drastically in numbers and they are now at the top of the protection list.

I hear about a year ago some man was convicted of killing one of these snakes. The man claimed that while walking down a path the snake came out and the man felt he was in danger so he took his shovel and killed the snake.
He was tried and convicted of killing an endangered species.
Old 05-01-2004, 08:37 PM   #3
Talking Reply to Stardust's Reply...

oh no doubt, they are definitely on the endangered species list, I don't see nearly as many as I used to, I did see 5 of them last summer while fishing, but i'm always looking, I would never harm them, in fact there's a link on the michigan dnr site last time I was there that they wanted pics & locations if anyone has seen them, they're interested in trying to keep track of their numbers, just trying to do my part, unfortunately last year when I did see any of them, I didn't have my camera with me, now I don't leave home without it, thanx again for the reply, Marshall P..
Old 10-03-2005, 04:21 PM   #4
digging up an old thread against my better judgement here......

i live in SW michigan and they are VERY common anywhere around the kalamazoo river. i've never seen one over 2ft in length though. usually the ones i see are baby ones, a foot or less. i've never tried to catch one but i've gotten close enough to them to get a good look anyway.
Old 10-05-2005, 05:40 AM   #5
Red face Wow!

That's great, I'm glad they're doing well at least in some areas, i used to find them a lot in the irish hills mich., area as well, i know there's certain times of the year when your more likely to find them also such as early spring and late summer, I only wish to observe them, I'd never remove them from their home range, we need animals like this, it's a shame that their habitat has declined so much, I've noticed also that the DNR has a form they want filled out if you happen to encounter one, with the date place time,. etc.. anyway thanx for the reply, & happy herping...! Marshall P.. in W. Toledo, ohio...
Old 10-05-2005, 09:34 AM   #6
oh yes, i've got close connections with our DNR and i do some volunteer work for some local groups. they used to be common in the toledo area but i've heard the numbers have declined. here in west michigan they are most common near the kalamazoo river, most notably in battle creek and galesburg/augusta. they're pretty shy too so i'm guessing they're more abundant that noted...
Old 10-05-2005, 08:08 PM   #7
They are an endangered species in Canada also.
And rightly so, for they have been decimated up there as well. It is one species of rattler I have not encountered in the wild. But have seen some at zoos and they are a beautiful snake.

Interesting post............Thanks!

Old 10-05-2005, 09:45 PM   #8

that's great, hehe, at least someone's been seeing them, thanx again, Marsh.
Old 10-07-2005, 01:19 AM   #9
Excellent post!

I've been on the look out while exploring the woodlands (what's left of them) here in SE Michigan for the last couple years for the Massassauga, but with out any luck. I'd love to get some pics of them in their natural habitat. My only encounter is a preserved local specimen at our Botanical Gardens and I've been curious ever since.
Old 10-07-2005, 05:10 AM   #10
During the 15 years or so I lived in Michigan (Eastern) I never saw one. Though not for lack of trying and looking. I have buddies who have hunted in Michigan for 20-30+ years who don't believe me when I tell them they are native to the area. They've never come across any, but they've seen all kinds of other snakes though.

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