Endangered Species Act now Protects Michigan's Poisonous Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake

Endangered Species Act now Protects Michigan's PoisonousEastern Massasauga Rattlesnake

The US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has added the eastern massasauga rattlesnakein its list of threatened species. The news that the snake, which is Michigan's only poisonous snake, hasbeen protected under the Endangered Species Act was announced by the federal agency on Thursday (September 29).

Therattlesnakehas won its battle after more than three decades, said attorneyElise Bennett forCenter for Biological Diversity. Bennett is known for her efforts to protect reptiles that are at the verge of extinction.

She said it was very necessary for the shyeastern massasauga to be included in the list. “The destruction of wetlands and surrounding uplands in the Midwest by urban and agricultural sprawl is leaving the eastern massasauga with few places to live.These long-awaited Endangered Species Act protections can save the massasauga from extinction by saving the habitat it needs to survive”, said Bennett in a statement.

The snake was first considered by the FWS to be listed undertheEndangered Species Act more than three decades ago in 1982. But the agency took a long time to include it in the list.

Urban development is the major reason behind the dropping number of eastern massasauga snakes. Experts say roads and other kinds of constructions have reduced the number of regions which the snake previously was using as a source to find food and habit. It experiences obstacles between wetland and upland habitats, which are affecting its population.

Another reason behind its dropped numbers is its venomous nature. It is considered as a scariest snake, and is often killed when encountered. But experts sayeastern massasauga snakes are shy and void confrontation. They don’t like to visit open places like roads and others, they said.


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