For goodness ‘snakes’, there are actually more species of snakes in Vermont than most people might think. Middlebury College’s website lists a dozen species of snakes inhabiting Vermont.
While most Vermonters are quite familiar with the fairly common, harmless garter snake, often seen while mowing the lawn or walking in grassy fields, etc., there actually is one venomous snake that you should be aware of. Though quite rare, the venomous Timber Rattlesnake does indeed exist in Vermont. Fortunately, there haven’t been many sightings. The more common and non-venomous Milksnake, is often reported as a snake sighting, mistaken for the much more dangerous Timber Rattlesnake. Rattlesnakes tend to inhabit areas where rock slides, ledges and nearby woodlands exist. Though they were once found throughout the Champlain Valley, it is believed that they are now found only in two isolated areas in western Rutland County. For most Vermonters, that is probably good news. However, there is sad news for nature lovers as a snake fungal disease threatens the habitat of rattlesnakes in Vermont.
There have been rumors over the years, of rattlesnake sightings in areas such as Barre, where mountains of waste granite and abandoned quarries have laid dormant for many years.
While most rattlesnakes in Vermont remain in remote areas, they are occasionally found near people. The Fish & Wildlife Department urges Vermonters who find a rattlesnake in their yard to avoid handling the snake and to contact the Rattlesnake Removal Program by calling 802-241-3700 to have the snake safely relocated by a trained expert.
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