Eastern massasauga rattlesnakes, the only venomous snake in Michigan, are shy creatures that will avoid humans whenever possible. Also known as "swamp rattlers," they spend the vast majority of their time in year-round wetlands hunting their primary prey, mice.
The eastern massasauga, a rare sight for most Michigan residents, has been declining due to fragmentation and loss of wetland habitat. The massasauga is listed as threatened species by the US Fish and Wildlife Service under the Endangered Species Act.
Rattlesnake bites, while extremely rare in Michigan, can and do occur. Anyone who is bitten should seek medical attention immediately.
Department of Natural Resources