Historically, Massasaugas occurred along the Des Plaines River from Des Plaines to approximately one mile north of the Lake County border (Pope, 1947; Wright, 1941).
What we did:
– In 2005 and 2006 we conducted visual encounter surveys for reptiles and amphibians.
– No Massasaugas were found but suitable habitat remained.
– The Tollway began habitat restoration at Potawotami Woods.
What we found in 2015:
– No Massasaugas were encountered at Potawotami Woods.
– Only garter snakes were found.
– Snake encounters at the site have declined overall over time.
– There remain numerous active crayfish burrows for suitable Massasauga hibernation sites.
– Habitat restoration was successful, with many native plant species seen at the site, including rattlesnake master (Eryngium yuccifolium).
– Many invasive plant species are present and continuous habitat management is needed for the site to remain suitable habitat.