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EASTERN MASSASAUGA OBSERVATION REPORT
This information is voluntary under Part 365, Endangered Species Protection, of the
Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994.

Refer to the massasauga information below to aid you in identifying your sighting.

OBSERVER INFORMATION:
Name: Telephone Number:
(Please use 123-456-7890 format)
Street Address:
City: Zip Code:
Email:
Where have you seen Massasaugas before? (check all that apply):
     Zoo
     Wild
Museum
Media
Books
Have not seen before
Activity at time of observation:
     Hunting
     Hiking
Trapping
Walking
Fishing
Riding in Vehicle
     Other (describe):
OBSERVATION CONDITIONS:
Date of Observation:
(Please use MM/DD/YYYY format.)
Time of Observation:   AM     PM
Weather Conditions:
LOCATION OF OBSERVATION:
County: Town, Village, or City:
Town:   TN S Range:   R W E Section:

Description of Location (distance and direction from the nearest town, road intersection, railroad track or other landmarks):
If possible, please send a map to the address below.

PR 2059 (Rev. 05/17/2001)

OBSERVATION OF MASSASAUGA:

Features used in identifying the snake as a Massasauga (check all that apply):
Head Shape: Rattles Facial Pits Pupil Shape Color Pattern
Number of Massasauga: Was the Snake:
     Alive
     Dead
Distance from Observer to Massasauga:
Rank Your Confidence in This Identification:
Description of the Animal(s):
     Color:
     Size (approximate length):
Behavior of Massasauga:
      Moving     Stationary     Other (describe):
Habitat:
     Beaver Pond Lake Deeryard Farm Wooded Field
     Road Other (describe):
Were photographs taken?  Yes     No     If yes, please send them to the address below.
COMMENTS:
SUBMITTER INFORMATION:
Name:
Agency/Location:
Send maps & photos to:

WILDLIFE DIVISION
MICHIGAN DEPT OF NATURAL RESOURCES
PO BOX 30444
LANSING MI 48909
Email:sargentl@michigan.gov
Telephone: 517-284-6216 FAX: 517-373-6705

Be sure to mention that the observation report was submitted online.


Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake
(Sistrurus catenatus)

Status: Special Concern, it is protected by the State of Michigan and is a candidate for federal listing
Range: Entire Lower Peninsula,. Although once common, populations may be declining due to loss of wetland habitats and human harassment.
Habitat: During spring, Massasaugas use open shallow wetlands or shrub swamps. They can be found in crayfish towers or small animal burrows which are adjacent to drier upland open shrub forest sites. During summer, Massasaugas move upland to drier areas. Look for them "sunning" in open fields, grassy meadows or farmed sites.
Behavior: Sluggish, slow moving snake. It may strike if threatened.
Benefits: Eastern Massasauga rattlesnakes eat small mammals, amphibians and insects. The Massasaugas are eaten by eagles, herons and some mammals.
Description:
  • Massasaugas have thick bodies with colors that range from gray, grayish brown or brown. Its back has large dark brown blotches with smaller lighter brown patches on its sides. Young Massasaugas are similarly marked with brighter coloration.
  • This snake has a wide triangular head and eyes with slit shaped pupils.
  • Adults can be 18" to 30" in length.
  • Young Massasaugas have small yellow buttons or "rattles" at the tip of their tail. Adult "rattles" are grayish yellow, like pieces of corn kernels, on top of dark rings.
  • Snakes may bite to protect themselves.

Look alike Snakes:

  • The eastern milk snake and eastern hog-nosed snake are harmless.
  • A hog-nose snake will flare its head, coil, and may strike.
Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake
(Sisturus catenatus)

Photo by: James H. Harding

Eastern Milk Snake
(Lampropeltis triangulum)

Photo by: James H. Harding
Eastern Hog-nosed Snake
(Heterodon platyrhinos)

Photo by: Earl Wolf

Click on an image to see a larger version.

For more information, visit our Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake species page.


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