The Massasauga Rattlesnake – Threatened Status
Man has always tried to destroy what he fears and this is exactly the case with the Massasauga rattlesnake.
For years, his fear has made him think that if he were to kill the rattlesnake, he and other humans would be safe from their venom. In Fact, there was a bounty on this snake’s head and the person who killed one would be eligible for a $5 prize if he brought back the rattle. Rather sad considering the fact that hardly anyone has dies of Massasauga rattlesnake bites for over one hundred years.
The other reason that they have become an endangered species is because of modernization. With more and more wetlands being cleared in their natural dwelling places, these creatures have dwindled. Large tracts of marshes have been cleared especially in Wisconsin and there have been hogs that have been deployed as predators against them.
Had this indiscriminate waging of war against these snakes run unabated, the Massasauga rattlesnake would probably have become extinct. Thanks to a few activists, there has been a halt to this decreasing numbers and the Massasauga rattlesnake is now on the endangered list. In fact there is a proposal to put it on the federal list from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.
The main reason for this lethargy and the late hour when people have woken up to this snake’s plight is probably due to the fact that there hasn’t been any real in depth study done on this snake. Today, there are proposals for studies to be done on this snake and its habits and habitat and also to see how the wetlands and marshes in and around the areas it lives in can be protected. Without this natural habitat, the future for the Massasauga rattlesnake is bleak indeed. The species has to be protected and the habitat in which it survives will have to be protected as well. Only then can we ensure that this creature will not sink into extinction.