Learn about eastern massasauga rattlesnakes, report sightings at July 14 education program

Contact: Katie McGlashen, 734-475-3170 (event information) or Yu Man Lee (report sightings)
Agency: Natural Resources

July 11, 2018

eastern massasauga rattlesnakeThe Michigan Department of Natural Resources will hold a public education program about the eastern massasauga rattlesnake Saturday, July 14, at 10 a.m. It will be held at the Eddy Discovery Center, located in Waterloo Recreation Area at 17030 Bush Road in Chelsea, Michigan.

This one-hour session will offer an opportunity to see a live eastern massasauga rattlesnake and some of the look-alike species found in the area. It also provides a chance to share any information on massasauga sightings in and around Waterloo Recreation Area.

The only venomous snake in Michigan, eastern massasauga rattlesnakes are shy creatures that avoid humans whenever possible and spend the vast majority of their time in year-round wetlands.

The DNR is working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on a Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurance – a program that helps address threats to and conserve species that are candidates for listing under the Endangered Species Act – for the eastern massasauga rattlesnake in Michigan due to the snake’s recent listing as a threatened species. Michigan still is known to have a greater population of eastern massasauga rattlesnake than any other state, and this program helps ensure continued progress towards improving population numbers.

As part of Waterloo Recreation Area’s enrolment in the Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurance program, staff is performing surveys and habitat mapping, with the assistance of the Michigan Natural Features Inventory, to establish a better understanding of the presence of the eastern massasauga rattlesnake within and adjacent to the recreation area. Because it is such a cryptic species, it can be difficult to detect the snakes’ presence.

The education event is free to attend, but a Recreation Passport is required for vehicle entry to Waterloo Recreation Area and the Eddy Discovery Center.

Those who are unable to attend but who have information about eastern massasauga rattlesnake sightings they would like to share can send an e-mail to obrienj4@michigan.gov or leey@michigan.gov.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.

An accompanying photo is available below for download. Caption information follows.

Waterloo Recreation Area’s Eddy Discovery Center in Chelsea will host an education program about eastern massasauga rattlesnakes Saturday, July 14.