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SLELO PRISM

Blanding's Turtle

Native to North America, Blanding’s turtle is a semi-aquatic turtle within the family Emydidate. Unlike other turtles that hibernate in deep caves and underground dwellings, Blanding’s turtles choose to hibernate completely underwater. From fall to spring, these interesting reptiles reside in cold, muddy underwater burrows. Blanding’s turtle reproduces late in life, as sexual maturity occurs after about eighteen years for females and twelve for males. Late maturity rates combined with habitat loss, predation of hatchlings and high road mortality rates have greatly reduced the survival rate of blanding’s turtles. due to these conditions, the reptile is considered to be a threatened species in New York State and an endangered species in Indiana.

Habitat/Distribution: 

Blanding’s turtles are found in or near water; during hibernation t(fall to spring) they are found underwater and during matting season (April-May)and through nesting (June) they can be found more than a kilometer from hibernation burrows. Blanding’s turtles are distributed within the Great Lakes region and extend from central Nebraska to Minnesota, as well as, parts of Ontario and Nova Scotia, southeastern NY, and New England.

blandings turtle map

Identification: 

Life Span: It takes 18-22 years for Blanding’s turtles to reach sexual maturity; adults can live up to 70 years!

Size:  Blanding’s turtles are medium sized with an average shell length of about seven to nine inches with a maximum length of about ten inches.

Shell: the upper shell is domed and slightly flattened along the midline and looks oblong when viewed from above. the lower shell or (plastron) is yellow in color with dark symmetrically arranged blotches.

blandings shell

Body: Head and legs are dark with speckled or mottled yellow markings.

blandings head

Distinguishing Features: Blanding’s turtles have a bright yellow chin and throat that set them apart from other turtles.

Photo Credits:

Title photo: (http://twitt.ch/geo/images/blanding_turtle.JPG)

Yellow neck of blanding’s turtle photo: (https://room305blandingsturtles.wordpress.com/page/3/).

Blanding’s turtle shell photo: (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blanding%27s_turtle).

Blanding’s body pic: (http://hudsonia.org/programs/conservation-ecology/blandings-turtle/natural-history/)

Resources: 

“Blanding’s Turtle Fact Sheet.” Blanding’s Turtle Fact Sheet. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, n.d. Web. 13 Aug. 2015. <http://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/7166.html>.

“Journey with Nature Blanding’s Turtles.” Learn About the Blanding’s Turtle | The Nature Conservancy. The Nature Conservancy, n.d. Web. 13 Aug. 2015. <http://www.nature.org/ourinitiatives/regions/northamerica/unitedstates/indiana/journeywithnature/blandings-turtles.xml>.

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PREVENTION
Prevent the introduction of invasive species into the SLELO PRISM.

EARLY DETECTION & RAPID RESPONSE
Rapidly detect new and recent invaders and eliminate all individuals within a specific area.

COOPERATION
Share resources, including funding personnel, equipment, information, and expertise.

INFORMATION MANAGEMENT
Collect, utilize, and share information regarding surveys, infestations, control methods, monitoring, and research.

CONTROL
Control invasive species infestations by using best management practices, methods and techniques to include: ERADICATION (which is to eliminate all individuals and the seed bank from an area), CONTAINMENT (which is reducing the spread of established infestations from entering an uninfested area) and SUPPRESSION which is to reduce the density but not necessarily the total infested area.

RESTORATION
Develop and implement effective restoration methods for areas that have been degraded by invasive species and where suppression or control has taken place.

EDUCATION & OUTREACH
Increase public awareness and understanding of invasive species.

INNOVATION
Develop and implement innovative technologies that help us to better understand, visualize, alleviate or manage invasive species and their impacts or that serve to strengthen ecosystem function and/or processes.

Rob Williams
PRISM Coordinator

Megan Pistolese
Outreach and Education

Brittney Rogers
Aquatic Invasive Species

Robert Smith
Terrestrial Invasive Species

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