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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Sunday, October 2, 2016

On Thursday of this past week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service protected the Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act.............Derived from the Chippewa language, Massasauga translates to "great river-mouth", an appropriate and accurate name as this rattlesnake is found in wetlands across the Midwest and Great Lakes............. Once occupying Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Ontario, Canada, the Massasauga is now extirpated from 40 percent of its historical range.............Draining wetlands for farms, roads and urban development has eliminated much of the habitat massasaugas use for food and shelter............ Roads and other obstacles also prevent them from moving between wetland and upland habitats, which isolates remaining populations, leading to their demise............With the"Threatened" legal protection now provided it, The Masssasauga hopefully will be provided enough protected habitat to persist into the next 100 years

Declining rattlesnake species to get federal protection

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - Federal officials are extending legal protection to the eastern massasauga rattlesnake, which inhabits a broad section of the northern and central U.S. but has been in decline for years.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is listing the snake as "threatened," meaning it's vulnerable to dying out but not in such peril that it's considered "endangered."
The eastern massasauga is seldom seen. It lives in wetland areas from Missouri to New York and parts of the Canadian province of Ontario. Its numbers have fallen as wetlands have been drained for farming and urban development.

In Colonial times, the Massasauga occupied this range

Persecution from fearful humans has also hurt.
Elise Bennett of the Center for Biological Diversity says designating the snake as threatened can save habitat it needs to survive.
The snake is among more than 170 species protected under a 2011 settlement between the center and the government.

Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake Gains Endangered Species Act Protection

Snake Threatened by Habitat Destruction in Midwest, Great Lakes States

Wetland habitat with adjacent upland forest is the Massasauga
needed habitat

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