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Transcript of Blanding's Turtle
The turtle lives the wetlands more than fast moving rivers or lakes. They prefer shallow, slow moving back-waters or marshes with muddy bottoms and lots of vegetation. The turtle can be found lying in the sun on muddy banks or submerged logs. The Blanding's Turtle can be found around the Great Lakes Basin. In Canada, the Blanding's Turtle is divided into the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence population and the Nova Scotia population. Blanding's Turtles can be found throughout southern, central and eastern Ontario. It is found around shallow weedy ponds, marshes and swamps.
Why It's Endangered
The survival of Blanding's turtle population depends on the condition and availability of the wetland habitats. In the lower Great Lakes basin however they appear to be maintaining the population. As with many other species that must migrate to suitable nesting locations, which are caused by roads results in the death of many turtles every year.
Blanding's turtles are omnivores. Their favorite food are crustaceans: they will eat crayfish, earthworms, insects, leeches, snails, small fish, frogs and occasionally some plants and berries. It food is either swallowed whole or if it’s too large, it’s held by the jaws and shredded into smaller pieces by the claws. Blalding turtle can eat out of water.
The Blanding’s turtle is a medium sized turtle; fully grown adult carapace grows to be 5-10 inches. The balding turtle is easily seen by its bright yellow throat and chin. The bright yellow chin does not appear until the turtle is 3 years old Vogt. Not like most Ontario’s turtles that have wide, flatter shells, the Blanding’s turtle has a domed shell that looks like an army ant. Its shell is black and brown. The turtles’ head and limbs are gray and black and the bottom shell is yellow. The turtles mates in April and lays their eggs in June or July, the eggs are hatched in late August and September. Nesting areas must be open and/or south facing and have a gravel base. In the winter, these turtles gather in small areas. They return every year to these same nesting and overwintering sites. That is why changes in their habitat such as dams or roads can be harmful.
The Blanding's Turtle is listed as threatened and protected animal under Ontario's Endangered Species. If you spot a Blanding's Turtle you can report it to the Natural Heritage Information Centre or the Toronto Zoo's Ontario Turtle Tally.
Sightings are submitted to Ontario’s Turtle Tally are sent to the NHIC so you only have to make one report on it. Photographs with specific locations or mapping coordinates are always helpful.
Don't disturb its nests, young or adults. Be respectful and observe them from a distance.
If you find a turtle in danger on a busy road or path pick it up by the side edges of its carapace and move it in the direction it was traveling.
If you are purchasing a turtle at the pet store ask where it comes from or how it was bred, make sure it isn’t removed from the wild.Land owners have an important role to play in species recovery. You may be eligible for stewardship programs that support the protection and recovery of species at risk and their habitats. As with many other rare plants and animals, the Blanding's Turtle is at risk due to the loss of their wetland habitat. You can help by protecting any wetlands and surrounding natural vegetation on your property.
The most significant threats to the Blanding's Turtle are loss or fragmenting of habitat, motor vehicles, coyotes, raccoons and foxes that prey on its eggs. Human development and industry (dams, forestry, agriculture, roads, cottage and residential development) have the potential to destroy and fragment important habitats for these turtles. Any changes to their habitat could cause them to die.
ilegal collection for the pet traders is also a serious threat.
Turtle eggs and hatchlings have a number of predators. For example raccoons, skunks and foxes are the predators that prey on the turtles’ eggs but they also prey on the hatchlings. Other kinds of predators are large fish, frogs, snakes, wading birds and crows.
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1.Blanding's Turtle - Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources