As Ontario’s only remaining venomous reptile, the massasauga rattlesnake has faced widespread persecution, despite the fact that it poses little threat to public safety. In First Nations traditions, the massasauga rattlesnake is the medicine keeper of the land — a reminder to tread lightly and to take only what we need.
The eastern Georgian Bay region of Ontario is the largest remaining uninterrupted range of the massasauga in Canada. In this video, the Georgian Bay recovery team demonstrates how they locate gravid (pregnant) females and headstart neonates (babies) before releasing them safe from harm’s way. This will determine whether and how translocation can be effectively used to reduce the impact of critical habitat destruction on massasauga rattlesnakes, resulting in techniques which could be used to save or reintroduce massasauga rattlesnakes wherever the need arises.