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Timber Rattlesnakes


$300.00 for information leading to new (unknown to us) timber rattlesnake or copperhead sightings in the New England area!! Please provide detailed information, i.e. roads, landmarks (hills, streams, monuments, etc), time of year, time of day, etc. States of interest are NH, VT, MA ,RI & ME. Reward will be paid upon verified sighting of LIVE animals. We would only be too happy to pay up on finding a new place where they still may exist! CLICK HERE TO CONTACT!


Please DO NOT kill Eastern Milksnakes!


Eastern milksnakes are harmless snakes that are beneficial in controlling rodent populations. Although they may vibrate their tails & strike when they feel threatened, Eastern milksnakes pose absolutely no threat to people. They simply bluff to get you to LEAVE THEM ALONE! In the event that you are ignorant (stupid!!!) enough to kill one, please don't e-mail to tell us of your murderous actions, as you won't like what we have to say to you in return.

Rattlesnakes are one of the most misunderstood creatures known to mankind. The Timber Rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) was once extremely common throughout New England, but through time, hatred and ignorance, man has managed to decimate much of the original population of the animals in this area. Bounty hunting and habitat destruction have taken severe tolls on the Timber Rattlesnake, which can take up to nine years to reach sexual maturity and has a low reproductive rate in the wild. In other words, these snakes are disappearing at a rate much faster than they are able to reproduce, and we are losing an important predatory component of our ecosystem in this area as a result!

Here at NERD we are extremely interested in the preservation and conservation of Timber Rattlesnakes and their habitat. These are not vicious, bloodthirsty killers. Timber Rattlesnakes are actually very shy creatures who wish nothing more than to be left alone. People quite often believe that venomous snakes are insidious, evil animals that want nothing more than to bite every person who comes across their path, but this simply is not so. Rattlesnakes have venom for the purpose of securing and digesting their prey - mainly small rodents. It makes an extremely poor defense against large creatures (i.e. people!), and these snakes would much rather hide, quietly camouflaged, and let such a "threat" pass them by.

We are working very hard to document the presence of Timber Rattlesnakes in New Hampshire and surrounding states. They are almost extinct in New Hampshire, and have not been seen in Maine since 1901. If you have seen Timber Rattlesnakes in your area, please contact us at 603.382.2772 ext 71 or e-mail us with information. We are extremely grateful for any valuable info regarding the presence of Timber Rattlesnakes in New England.

Connecticut Populations severely depleted. Quick development is taking a serious toll on some of the not well known dens.
Maine EXTINCT - last sighting in 1901. I think we may still have them there! 2005 will tell! We have an excellent account regarding a sighting from a very reliable source.
Massachusetts Extinct through most of range. There are still populations in some areas but a mere shadow of what once was. Blue Hills reservation is a POOR, POOR example of Timber & Copperhead protection. This is what happens when nothing is really done in a pro active manner.
New Hampshire Extinct through most of range. We have a single small population left and that does not look good long term. We need to locate the rest before it is too late. I know of two small populations that have had the dens destroyed in just the past several years.
New York Last protected populations. Still dens with impressive numbers. NY has done some of the better work protecting their Timbers.
Rhode Island

EXTINCT since mid-1970's

Or maybe NOT!! 2005 has HOPE! We have new information that could really add hope!

Vermont Severely threatened & declining. A very limited number of populations are left and one of the best protected populations seems to be losing a large number of its animals to poachers.

Kev's Timber Rant, Jan. 2005

It is winter and I am dying to go out an verify many accounts of new possible areas from people with some great info.


How to tell if it is a Timber...

I get lots of people contacting me that think they may have seen a Timber when it was actually another snake. Here are some tips on identifying your snake. Timbers are not aggressive and nervous. They will often let you approach without moving, as you get too close they will either pull into a coil or try to scoot off. When they crawl off they may lift their tail inches above the ground and rattle as they crawl away. The rattle is more like a buzz! If they coil up they may buzz with their tail often in the air, some will only rattle if antagonized. The tail is thick, the area before the rattle is dark grey. The rattle is often noticeable and typically tan and waxy appearing. Rattlesnakes are thick compared to their length, their scales are heavily keeled and rough looking. The head is noticeably large, much wider than the neck. Their eyes often have a menacing look to them and they have a long black tongue that may hang out for a period as they taste the air.


What happened to the Timbers and Copperheads?

Man!! Think of one thing and wrap your mind around it. There are more people alive right now than the number of people that have ever died in the history of mankind. That is an incredible fact that does not leave much room for species of animals that we often share a strong ignorance and dislike for.

Development - We continue to eat up all possible space to build new homes and commercialize. We do not leave areas untouched, we tend to create islands that do not leave enough area to support many native species. Rattlesnakes need room, they are vulnerable when the wrong people know where they are. We are losing wild areas. In your short time living on this planet you have watched your child haunts change into developed human sprawl. Where are the fields? The farms are turning into condominium developments. Everyone seems to be selling off their property to make some serious money to the next developer. At what point will there be nothing left?


Pave the is what we do!


Historically there were great populations that were killed with a vengeance. In our history there were bounties, hatbands, snake oil use and a need to save people from the possible danger of being bitten by a venomous serpent. Snake hunters and concerned peasants...ummm.... I mean kind wonderful warm hearted open minded people would find the dens and shoot, smash, burn, crush, gas and stomp them to death.

What did these snakes do?

They have venom to kill mice. Great thought and open mindedness, very impressive. Snake killers delighted in the excitement of killing something that would impress and attract attention to themselves. Big tough men kill snakes beneath big giant club. They saved the day once again. Unfortunately these people are far too common and exist even to day, ignorance is bliss.


I could really go on...


What have we done to save these snakes in the New England area?

We told you it was illegal to kill them. We tell the developer we will fine you if you bulldoze that protected den up to $1,000.00. That is right, the developer may have to pay $500.00 or a bit more if he decides to destroy a Timber den that took eons to create. Well, in the grand scheme of things what is that to GIANT developments? Nothing...did I say NOTHING? Yeah, well that fits....

The den is gone, I guess there is no longer critical habitat for an endangered species. Go build that wonderful little school yard, go build that business, go build another million homes! Protecting most endangers species is a joke, we really do not do much to help them. We wait till they are almost gone and then we react, often we act too late and they just vanish like a wisp of smoke.

You really can't effectively protect a species that people strongly dislike. If the public opinion is less than filled with love that species falls to the end of the list and eventually lost. Wolves and rattlesnakes don't get much love. The general public outcry is that they don't want "dangerous" animals in "their" backyards!!


Who was there first? Like that EVER matters!!


We then try to protect and research the animals with people that really do not understand snakes. They are not qualified to protect or serve these animals since they just waste time playing researcher. What they accomplish is often nothing more than childish non sense. There are a few people that research and KNOW these snakes. These people are gifted and have a great value in the protection of Timbers. They are few and far between. Most researchers and efforts by the states are utter failures. Look at our dismal track record in states such as RI, NH, MA and Maine. Rhode Island just sat back and watched them die off. Maine did not care back then, they probably don't care now. Massachusetts has a few good men but areas like the Blue Hills in Canton had a decent population that they protect but do nothing to help the population. They are going quick, they have done nothing to help them. New England states do nothing pro active since they fear that the public will not be happy if they help a dangerous little snake!! A steak knife can inflict more damage on you in a second than this dreaded serpent! Never the less they won't do anything pro active since they are public servants and must be politically correct.

New Hampshire..... we may have had over 60 known dens in the 60's. Add 30 or 40 years and you get one? Yes, we have done a fine job at protecting them in New Hampshire. Live free or die? This is a LAME state slogan! Governor Benson was an Environmental NIGHTMARE! We do not protect endangered species in NH, well not really! We have a single person up the chain that has a personal interest in TImbers and he is the only thing I see in the entire state that offers any hope to help these animals. If they get any attention they get it because it is a personal hobby to him!!


That is LAME! The one person that has power to help them and only because he happens to like Timbers? He makes it part of his job to protect the last population. The non game division should be helping protect and save them. The people involved are not reptile savvy and need a REAL reptile influence...well, that is if they actually care. They don't, there is no money, and there does not seem to be much interest in saving these serpents. We can just hold our breath just a bit longer and they will be gone in a wink of the eye! How can people that should be saving these endangered animals save them if they don't know or understand the animal they are protecting?


Ok, that is enough for now but there is sooo much to complain about it is endless. I only wish I can make a difference up here and I am doing my absolute best to be pro active, uncover and save what little remains.


I appreciate all of the help I am getting from various persons!


Please understand that while venomous, Timber Rattlesnakes DO NOT pose a threat to people IF UNDERSTOOD and regarded as a wild animal. In the event that you encounter a Timber Rattlesnake, simply observe it from a distance and leave it in peace (and in one piece!)...then call and tell us about it!

"Attitude, rather than disposition, is more definitive of serpent behavior. From the moment they emerge into this world until they complete their life cycle, their attitude is, "Don't tread on me. I am well prepared to defend myself, but content to pass through life unnoticed. I mean no harm to anything or anyone that our creator has not proved as my bill of fare. I am self-sustaining, and I like it that way. Please pass me by.'" - Bill Haast


Photos taken by NERD staff of some of the last remaining Timber Rattlesnakes in New England. As you peruse these photos, please keep in mind that time is quickly running out for these beautiful serpents.

If you know of ANY sightings or populations of these animals, PLEASE contact Kevin or Kara @ NERD.

Critical information is :



What is the elevation or area called.

Why do you think it was a Timber?



Preserve for future generations!

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