SOUTHERN TIER, N.Y. (WETM)- There are primarily two types of rattlesnakes found within New York state: the Eastern Massasauga and the Timber Rattlesnake.

The Timber rattlesnake is more common in the Southern Tier of New York, but both types of rattlesnakes are either endangered or threatened. This means collecting or killing the rattlesnakes [from the wild] is prohibited under Environmental Conservation Law.

The active season ranges for the rattlesnakes is from mid-April through September to October. Timber rattlesnakes are generally found in “deciduous hardwood forests in rugged terrain” (NYS DEC) and Eastern Massasauga rattlesnakes are found in “wet lowland habitats” (NYS DEC).

If you encounter a rattlesnake, the best thing to do is give it space and leave them alone. According to the NYS DEC, “they are generally a timid species and just want to be left alone.”

Lisa Pipino, Wildlife Biologist for The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation said, “A rattlesnake bite is very, very rare. If it happens, usually it means that they did something to provoke it [the snake]. We recommend just giving it space. There’s absolutely no need to approach a rattlesnake and if you live in an area with snakes and you are fearful of them, I would just recommend learning a little bit more about them because you might discover that you have an appreciation for what is really a pretty amazing species.”