Last Page Next Page  |  Top  |  Table of Contents


The eastern massasauga rattlesnake is a unique and fascinating Ontario reptile. It is the province’s only rattlesnake, and one of just three members of the pit viper family in all of Canada. The other two pit viper species are in British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. Ontario is home to 16 other snake species.


This guide is dedicated to those that live, work, visit, cottage or camp within the range of the eastern massasauga rattlesnake. We hope it will increase your knowledge of the snake and introduce you to opportunities for stewardship.


Stewardship empowers landowners to voluntarily protect habitat and species on their land. Landowners can undertake a range of stewardship activities, from moni-toring wildlife to improving habitat. In Ontario, natural habitat areas have greatly declined. The remaining areas are largely in protected wildlife reserves, national and provincial parks, and on private lands. Landowners, therefore, play an important role that can mean the difference between a healthy or threatened wildlife habitat area. The landowner’s role includes an acknowledgement of the land’s potential as wildlife habitat. The actions of individual landowners are imperative to the recovery of species at risk and the prevention of other species from becoming at risk of extinction. For the eastern massasauga rattlesnake, steward-ship activities on private lands have been ongoing for years. This guide contains several examples and testimonials from those who have demonstrated their own stewardship activities.


The Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake Recovery Team was formed in response to the declining populations of massasaugas in Canada, a situation closely mirrored by declines of this species in the United States. The team includes biologists, academics, government and park representatives, and zoo officials. These team members share information and initiate a host of collaborative projects on this species. The team is working to learn about, and promote the stewardship of, this threatened snake.

The Recovery Team includes a network of people dedicated to the recovery of the eastern massasauga rattlesnake. They have a wealth of experience, and will gladly assist your stewardship of this threatened species.







Eastern massasauga rattlesnake recovery team, meeting to discuss issues pertaining to the threatened massasauga in Ontario.

Last Page Next Page  |  Top  |  Table of Contents