Skip to main content

Distributed for University Press of New England

Timber Rattlesnakes in Vermont & New York

Biology, History, and the Fate of an Endangered Species

Today, small populations of timber rattlesnakes (Crotalus horridus) quietly inhabit parts of Rutland County in Vermont, and Warren, Washington, and Essex counties in New York. Because the species is endangered, the exact locations of established dens in this area are a closely guarded secret. Insider, naturalist, and author Jon Furman has devoted years to the study of the snake’s past and present range, its habitat and biology, the period in Vermont and upstate New York history during which timber rattlesnakes were ruthlessly hunted for a bounty, and the outlook for this severely threatened species in both states. Soundly anchored in the latest scientific data, Furman proffers an accessible and engaging account of contemporary fieldwork and first-person interviews with herpetologists and old-time bounty hunters. For expert and lay readers interested in snakes and reptiles, northeastern fauna and natural history, conservation, and endangered species, this volume clearly explicates the timber rattlesnake’s biology as well as what happens and what to do when one bites. It also explores the troubling decline of the northeastern population caused by bounty hunting between the 1890s and the early 1970s, other past and present threats to the species’ survival, and what measures are being taken—and additional ones that must be taken—to ensure that timber rattlesnakes survive and thrive in the northeast. Historical and contemporary illustrations bring these reptiles and their world to life. Timber Rattlesnakes in Vermont & New York shines a new light on a maligned and misunderstood species.

228 pages | 6 x 9

Biological Sciences: Natural History

View all books from University Press of New England

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations • Acknowledgments • Introduction • Getting to Know Them • Physical Traits and Characteristics • The Hunter and the Hunted • Annual Cycle and Habitat • How Dangerous, How Aggressive? • Mating and Life Cycle • How Big Are They? • When A Timber Rattler Bites • How to React; What to Do • Survivors • The Principal Encroachments • Bounty Hunting • A Family Tradition: Lester and Carol Reed • A Modern Day Pioneer: Bill Galick • The Walking Machine: Art Moore • Rays of Hope • Conclusion • Appendix A. Resolutions 77 (1971) and 107 (1972) of the Warren County, New York, Board of Supervisors • Appendix B. Resolution 184 (1971) of the Washington County, New York, Board of Supervisors • Appendix C. Resolution 73 (1972) of the Washington County, New York, Board of Supervisors • Notes • Bibliography • Index

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press