‘Rattlesnake Island’ proposal suspended indefinitely

The Division of Fisheries and Wildlife wanted to place more than 100 rattlesnakes on Mount Zion

Tale of Timber Rattlesnake Close Up View
Credit: chapelhilltar/Thinkstock

BELCHERTOWN, Mass. (WWLP) – Timber rattlesnakes are endangered in Massachusetts.

The Division of Fisheries and Wildlife wanted to save the species by breeding them on an island in the Quabbin Reservoir. The proposal, however, was met with a lot of resistance, and now, it’s been permanently suspended.

Continuing Coverage: Quabbin Rattlesnake News

Lawmakers announced on Wednesday that the Massachusetts Fisheries and Wildlife board voted to suspend the proposal indefinitely. The proposal aimed to reestablish the timber rattlesnake population in Massachusetts, by breeding more than 100 rattlesnakes on Mount Zion, which is an island in the middle of the Quabbin Reservoir.

The plan was originally announced last year, and was quickly met with opposition from both residents and lawmakers. Many of them worried that since the rattlesnakes can swim, it would’ve put nearby residents and visitors in danger.

A Rattlesnake Working Group was created by the state to address those concerns, and they ultimately recommended the suspension of the proposal.

Timber rattlesnakes already live in five locations across the state, including Mount Tom, in southern Berkshire County, and at the Blue Hills in the Boston area.

The state said they’ll now focus on the rattlesnakes that already live in those locations, instead of trying to create a new one.