The massasauga is symbolic of the natural Georgian Bay ecosystem.
Like the moose or black bear, the snake is respected and admired by
many for its uniqueness as a part of Ontario’s natural world.
“But in the very heart
of this thorny wilderness, down in the dells,
you may find gardens filled with the fairest flowers, that any child
would love, and unapproachable linns lined with lilies and ferns,
where the ousel builds its mossy hut and sings in chorus with the
white falling water. Bears, also, and panthers, wolves, wildcats;
wood rats, squirrels, foxes, snakes, and innumerable birds, all find
grateful homes here, adding wildness to wildness in glorious
profusion and variety.”
– John Muir
In 1990, wildlife biologists launched an extensive eastern massasauga
rattlesnake study in Killbear Provincial Park. The research involved
locating rattlesnakes within the park, measuring them, marking them for
individual identification, and collecting blood samples to be used for
DNA analysis. The researchers also implanted some of the snakes with a
radio transmitter and tracked them. This method of research helps
biologists discover movements and preferred habitat of the massasauga.
Snake weights, measurements and general observations are taken.
measurements and general
observations are taken.
Killbear Provincial Park along Georgian Bay.