The massasauga (Sistrurus catenatus) has drastically declined throughout its range mainly due to habitat loss and human persecution. Populations of the massasauga that occur north and east of the Missouri River, USA, are currently candidates for listing under the United States Endangered Species Act. In areas where land managers wish to improve habitat for existing populations or create habitat for repatriation efforts, an understanding of massasauga spatial ecology is necessary to ensure that adequate sized blocks of habitat are created and properly managed. We studied spatial ecology of massasaugas at 2 sites in Wisconsin and 3 sites in Missouri over an 11-year period. Our results indicated that male massasaugas had larger spatial requirements than all other cohorts. Our study sites supporting viable populations indicated that managers interested in restoring or enhancing massasauga habitat should use 100 ha as a minimum restoration or management target.
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Vol. 72 • No. 3