The Blanding's turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) is a state-listed threatened species. It depends upon riparian areas, variety of wetland types, and is frequently associated with sandy upland soils for nesting. However, its specific habitats and conservation needs differ across Minnesota. This ongoing project is conducted to locate areas where this rare species if found and to provide critical protection to the habitat to ensure their presence in Minnesota's landscape. There is an intensive effort in southwestern Minnesota to assess its presence, distribution and estimate the abundance. Describe and summarize study populations and formulate research and conservation recommendations.
This project will contribute towards development of a sound comprehensive conservation plan for Blanding's turtles statewide and provide valuable decision making tools. Habitat conservation efforts for Blanding's turtles dovetail well with other initiatives aimed at conservation and restoration of rivers corridors, wetlands and adjacent grasslands. Active citizen cooperation play a key role in this project by reporting all Blanding's turtle sightings.