Brief SummaryRead full entry
SummaryIn Canada and the United States, the Blanding’s turtle, Emydoidea blandingii (Family Emydidae), is officially designated as endangered or threatened in several provinces and a number of states. In many areas, it has become a “poster species” for attracting public interest in issues common to conservation of freshwater turtles in general. Over the past three decades, knowledge of Blanding’s turtle biology and ecology has increased dramatically, and among species with conservation concerns, it now ranks as one of the best known turtle species throughout much of its range. Blanding’s turtles seldom occur in dense populations such as those of sympatric painted turtles, but two large populations exist in southeastern Minnesota, and in north-central Nebraska. Individuals delay maturity from 14–21 yrs, and can attain ages greater than 75 yrs and still reproduce successfully. Most populations of Blanding’s turtles are threatened by collecting, road mortality, and the reduction and degradation of both aquatic and terrestrial portions of their core habitats. Adults of both sexes make extensive forays onto land to visit temporary wetlands, and adult females move overland on pre-nesting movements and to nest; both activities exposes adults to increased risk of mortality associated with roads, farm machinery, and terrestrial predators. Proposed conservation measures include: 1) methods to reduce road mortality (e.g., fencing and road passages); 2) elimination of commercial collecting; 3) protection of large resident wetlands and smaller ephemeral wetlands; 4) protection and management of adjacent terrestrial areas used for nesting and as corridors for movements among wetlands; 5) research on risks associated with the timing and duration of terrestrial movements of both sexes; and 6) where necessary, removal of nest predators. More extensive regional information can be found in Herman et al. (2003), COSEWIC (2005), and Congdon and Keinath (2006).