Massachusetts Gov. Supports Plan to Use Quabbin Resevoir as Timber Rattlesnake Habitat

February 1, 2016

Republican Gov. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts announced today that he supports the plan by the commonwealth's Department of Fisheries and Wildilife to use the Quabbin Resevoir island as a breeding ground and habitat for the timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus), a venomous snake that is indigenous to Massachusetts. 

timber rattlesnake


The timber rattlesnake is endangered in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

The plan does have its detractors, with some saying that the snake could leave the island and attack fishermen, hikers and others that the snake may cross paths with, but Baker relied on the advice of wildlife experts who say that the snake had a slim chance of survival if they did leave the island. 

The reservoir is the largest body of water in the commonwealth of Massachusetts and is the primary water supply for the city of Boston and 40 other communities in greater Boston. 

One of the larger rattlesnakes, the timber rattler can grow to more than five feet with the largest recorded at a few inches beyond 6 feet. Large specimens can weigh nearly 10 lbs. Typical adults will be near 40 inches. In Massachusetts, it is only found in the Blue Hills South of Boston and in the Berkshires in Western Mass, as well as the Connecticut River Valley. The species is so rare that it is endangered, and efforts are underway to bolster their numbers in the wild. 

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