The discovery of an eastern massasauga rattlesnake on a lake in Michigan last month has served as a not-so-subtle reminder that rattlesnakes can be found in Michigan. Not only can they be found, but they are known to thrive on one island in Michigan.

In the current issue of Grand Valley Magazine, Grand Valley State University biology professor Jennifer Moore says Bois Blanc Island in northern Michigan has "rattlesnakes all over the island.” Two years earlier, Moore called the island "a haven for rattlesnakes."

Bois Blanc Island is southeast of Mackinac Island.

Moore and a team of students are working to protect the eastern massasauga rattlesnake which was added to the U.S. Endangered Species List in September 2016.

The biggest threat to the eastern massasauga rattlesnake is loss of habitat from land that is converted into agriculture. The rattlesnakes are also threatened by roads and people who kill them.

It is illegal harm, kill or capture an endangered species.

Bois Blanc Island remains "relatively unmodified" while wetland areas in the Lower Peninsula are home to the largest remaining populations of the endangered rattlesnake. GVSU has also worked with a population of eastern massasauga rattlesnakes near Hastings. The rattlesnakes have been found in many counties in Michigan including Kent and Ottawa counties.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says the eastern massasauga rattlesnake is Michigan's only venomous snake and any bite from the rattlesnake should get prompt medical attention.

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