Iowa sightings of endangered rattlers called encouraging

Published: Jul. 17, 2017 at 5:39 AM CDT
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An environmental organization is encouraged by the sightings of two endangered snakes in Iowa.

The Des Moines Register reports that the two rattlesnakes were spotted earlier this year.

The Nature Conservancy says that for the first time in 15 years, the group confirmed a massasauga rattlesnake in the Lower Cedar Valley Preserve in Muscatine. They're also known as "swamp rattlers." Conservancy spokeswoman Shelly Hiemer says there have been concerns about the survival of the snakes, because of heavy flooding in the area the past two years.

The other endangered snake sighted this year was a prairie rattlesnake in the Broken Kettle Grassland Preserve near Sioux City. More good news: The conservancy says she was pregnant.

To the conservancy, the sightings of the endangered snakes means their habitats are survivable.