By Lynne Beauchamp, firstname.lastname@example.org
A Facebook post with a photograph of a snake has recently been making the rounds. A photograph of the snake said to be found on the B2B Trail in Dexter “about 1 1/2 miles from the park off North Territorial” was posted by Dexter resident, Ron Raiford which was discovered by another Dexter local.
The photograph has since been provided to Jim O’Brien with the Michigan DNR, who said he believed he could see the rattle in the photograph of the snake. O’Brien has since contacted Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation and Yu Man Lee with Michigan Natural Features Inventory (MNFI) at MSU on the findings.
The DNR is working with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on a Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurance, a program to help address threats to and conserve species that are candidates for listing under the Endangered Species Act. Additionally, Waterloo Recreation Area and its staff are performing surveys and habitat mapping, assisted by MNFI, to better understand the presence of Eastern Massasaugas in and around the area.
According to MNFI, The Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake is listed as a species of special concern in Michigan and is protected under a special Director of Natural Resources’ Order. It is unlawful to kill, harm or take an Eastern Massasauga from the wild in Michigan. Michigan is still known to have a greater population of the snake than any other state, but work continues to improve the population numbers.
While the Eastern Massasauga is Michigan’s only venomous snake, bites are uncommon but do require medical assistance.
MNFI and the DNR would like individuals to report sightings of the Eastern Massasauga in and around the area, and if safely possible, provide a photograph of the sighting. To do so, contact either Jim O’Brien at email@example.com or Yu Man Lee at LeeY@michigan.gov .