Seeing Timber Rattlesnakes up close in the wild is a thrilling experience. They are a non-aggressive, quiet and very impressive animal. Contrary to popular belief, rattlers will strike only when they feel threatened. As long as we respect their domain and do not disrupt their natural behaviors, we can observe and appreciate them as they truly are in the wild.

Many studies are being done for the conservation and management of rattlesnakes in New York State. Field biologists have been doing research for more than 35 years to learn what they can about the behavior and habitats of the timber rattlesnake.

Efforts are being made in other states as well to protect and preserve the species. It is a challenging effort with both commercial and residential development displacing dens and habitats.

Education is a key factor in protecting the species, as well as enforcing laws that prohibit poaching and selling of snakes.

This site is sponsored by Polly Smith-Blackwell, a licensed Timber Rattlesnake handler in New York State, to help educate the public about this reptile, and to further the understanding of a very misunderstood animal.

The Timber


(Crotalus horridus)

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