Help Biologists Track the Distribution of West Virginia’s State Reptile

 The WVDNR is requesting timber rattlesnake observations from the public in order to better understand the distribution of this declining reptile. Timber rattlesnakes provide ecological benefits and function as top predators in forest ecosystems, controlling small mammal populations, such as mice and chipmunks, that are capable of transmitting diseases like Lyme disease and Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome. By understanding the distribution of the timber rattlesnake, the WV DNR will be able to better manage rattlesnake populations in the Mountain State.


   The timber rattlesnake is a large, heavy bodied snake with a wide head and narrow neck. Adult timber rattlesnakes can reach lengths of up to 4 feet. Timber rattlesnakes also have a rattle at the end of the tail, characteristic of the snake’s name.

How to Participate

   WVDNR is interested in ANY observations of timber rattlesnakes in West Virginia, including live rattlesnakes, as well as road-killed and harvested rattlesnakes. Please be sure to upload a picture, if available, so that identification can be confirmed.

   Please only report rattlesnake observations starting from January 1, 2017 to present.

   In order to protect this vulnerable reptile, the WVDNR will not provide timber rattlesnake location information.

   Additional comments, questions, and pictures can be sent to Kevin Oxen  rider ([email protected]).


   Enter the decimal degree coordinates (Lat/Long) of your timber rattlesnake observation into the appropriate fields below or you may use the provided map to place a “pin” on the observation location and determine the coordinates. If you are entering the coordinates by hand, please be sure to include a “-” in front of longitude coordinates. Also, if your coordinates are from a GPS device, please check the appropriate box below.

To use the map, select a map display, satellite or terrain, by using the buttons in the upper corner. You can add labels to help locate nearby landmarks, too.

   Left-click and drag the map screen to navigate to the approximate area where you observed a timber rattlesnake, then use the zoom bar, or your mouse’s scroll, to zoom in and help pin-point the approximate location of your observation.

   Once you have found the location of your timber rattlesnake observation, left-click your mouse to drop the pin at the location of your cursor.

   Enter the date of the timber rattlesnake observation. If you are a natural resource professional, please check the appropriate box below and indicate your organization’s name. Enter your name, e-mail, and/ or a phone number, and any additional comments you would like to add about your timber rattlesnake observation (ex. known den site, snakes regularly seen basking here, saw multiple snakes in the same location, etc.). Please note that this information will remain confidential to protect your privacy.

Upload a photo of the timber rattlesnake you observed by using the appropriate field below.

Click the “Submit” button below when you have finished entering the requested data.

Please submit a new record for each individual timber rattlesnake you observed (i.e. if you saw two snakes in the same location, please submit two records).