The timber rattlesnake is now considered extinct in Maine and Rhode Island

Once abundant throughout the Eastern United States, as well as much of the Midwest, the timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) is now considered extinct in Maine and Rhode Island, and endangered in the remaining New England states, as well as New York, New Jersey and Maryland. In West Virginia, where the reptile’s conservation status is considered vulnerable, the timber rattler can be found in about half of the state’s counties, mostly those in the south, east and northeast. A new West Virginia Division of Natural Resources project encourages the public to report their rattlesnake sightings for use in a research project aimed at determining the current range of the viper within the state.

The timber rattlesnake and the northern copperhead are the only poisonous snake species found in West Virginia. Of the two species, the more common and less venomous copperheads have accounted for most of the venomous snakebites to humans. While timber rattlesnakes are potentially more lethal, only four West Virginians have died of rattlesnake bites suffered in the wild since 1969.

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