EMR populations are declining throughout their range in the Great Lakes. We’re studying a population of EMR in Michigan, the state which appears to hold the healthiest populations of the species. This project is led by the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake SSP, Lincoln Park Zoo, the Edward Lowe Foundation, Northern Illinois University. Each year these partners and 20+ SSP member zoos and wildlife agencies come together for a week of surveying to better understand the population dynamics and health of this massasauga population.
This study has been ongoing since 2009, and more than 800 eastern massasauga rattlesnakes have been captured, examined and individually identified at the field site before being released back into the habitat. By monitoring these individuals over time, scientists will be able to determine important characteristics for this population that can be compared with other data across the range. Resulting data on population size, survival and reproduction will provide crucial insight for massasauga conservation plans.
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