Laws About Wild Turtles in Michigan . Its most diagnostic characteristics are its domed upper shell (carapace) and its bright yellow chin and throat. Isabella County, Michigan. Image credit: Roy Nagle ANN ARBOR—A female Blanding’s turtle believed to be at least 83 years old was captured at a University of Michigan forest reserve this week. I first encountered one as a summer camp naturalist during my college years. Once likely common throughout Lake County, Blanding’s turtles have been documented from 17 localities since 1907. In that pre-internet era, I simply knew those odd-looking turtles as, “yellow-necked turtles.” It wasn’t until I settled into my nature-embracing, trail-trekking ways on the Wilder Side of Oakland County that I discovered its true name and learned of its status. MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer, committed to achieving excellence through a diverse workforce and inclusive culture that encourages all people to reach their full potential. They prefer slow-moving, shallow water and a muddy bottom with plenty of vegetation. This species hibernates in the soft bottoms of water bodies. Considered a threatened species in Michigan: Emys blandingii: Blanding's turtle: Adults are 6 to 10.75 inches (15.2 to 27.3 cm) in length and colored black with yellow speckles. At Shiawassee NWR, few young turtles were observed in the population, and it was realized that increasing numbers of raccoons were eating turtle eggs and young. The Blanding’s turtle is a species of special concern in Michigan. Blanding's Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) at Camp Ripley: critical habitats, population status, management guidelines. Jeffrey W. Dwyer, Director, MSU Extension, East Lansing, MI 48824. Enter your email address to follow Oakland County's Blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. An adult Blanding's Turtle basks in the afternoon sun in a river backwater area. Blanding’s turtles are listed as threatened, endangered or species of concern in all the States and Canadian provinces where they occur. The carapace (i.e, top part of shell) is usually black with yellowish spots and streaks and is dome-like, elongated, and smooth. Blanding’s Turtle. 1994). MSU is an affirmative-action, equal-opportunity employer. A female Blanding's turtle believed to be at least 83 years old was captured at a University of Michigan forest reserve this week. The Blanding’s Turtle is listed as a “species of special concern” by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. However, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, turtles as a group (comprised of about 320 species) are declining worldwide, faster than nearly every other vertebrate group. To contact an expert in your area, visit https://extension.msu.edu/experts, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464). 1992. Break walls and other obstructive landscaping practices along shorelines often prevent this from occurring. 1998. Indiana 2 Iowa Sites in 4 counties. In fact, these turtles have been documented to successfully breed past 70 years of age. The Blanding’s turtle has specific requirement for downed woody debris as part of their habitat needed to both sun themselves. Furthermore, the most critical conservation need identified for Blanding’s turtle is the protection and management of suitable wetland and nesting habitat. The spotted turtle’s loss of habitat is the main cause for the endangered listing for this species. This species is native to central and eastern parts of Canada and the United States. The headwaters region is home to the Blanding’s Turtle - locally common in northwest Oakland County and due to population declines, this species is of special concern in Michigan. Female turtles are brought to the Zoo, where they lay […] The Blanding’s turtle is considered semi-aquatic; a species that wanders back and forth from wetlands to land where it feeds in both habitats. This entry was posted in Education, Fauna, Habitats and tagged blanding's turtle, eastern box turtle, michigan nature association, spotted turtle, threatened species in Michigan, turtle, wood turtle by Michigan Nature Association. Turtles have lived on … In the heat of the summer this rather nomadic species of turtle is most often seen early morning or evening; when the days really sizzle they sometimes go nocturnal. Diet. Blanding’s Turtle Emydoidea blandingii. What impacts does a developed shoreline have on species that depend on these areas for some part of their lifecycle? The Blanding's Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii or Emys blandingii) is one of three turtle species (Blanding's, Wood, and Eastern Box) listed as a Species of Special Concern by the State of Michigan. Rowe, J. Many species of fish and wildlife are unable to thrive along sandy swimming beaches or on mowed lawns. The photos of the mature Blanding’s turtle that accompany this week’s wilder side blog were captured at Rose Oaks County Park and along an abandoned trolly line that cuts through a wetland area of Brandon Township in northern Oakland County. It can be found in wetlands in southern Ontario and northwestern Pennsylvania in the East, through Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Wisconsin, and southern Minnesota, and also Nebraska, Iowa, and northeastern Missouri in the West. Our goal is to document their distribution and help measure changes or … Blanding’s turtles bear little resemblance in appearance to the other nine native species of turtles found in Michigan, with two possible exceptions, the Eastern box turtle and the Spotted turtle. If you want to take a turtle from the wild you will need a fishing license from the state. When shoreline shrubs and fallen trees are removed from the water’s edge, important turtle habitat is eliminated. Also visit the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s Michigan Turtles web site for additional information. In New York and New England, Blanding's turtles use vernal pool habitats for breeding and feeding. Linck, M. H., and J. J. Moriarty. Thanks for sharing with me! Autumn brings short-lived opportunities to view Blanding’s turtle sunning, but by the time of the first frost they have burrowed down into soft muck and that’s where they remain in a hibernation like state; until early spring when the jingle of thousands of spring peepers calling from the wetlands serves as the wake-up call to the Blanding’s turtles of the wilder side of Oakland county. East of Wisconsin, Blanding’s turtles are found throughout Michigan, northern Herpetologists agree that crayfish is a favored food, but they will also readily take frogs, snails, leeches and minnows. They are diurnal hunters and feed both in the water and on land. Eggs collected from nests at Shiawassee NWR are hatched at the Detroit Zoo, and young Blanding’s turtles are raised at the Zoo until they are old enough to be less susceptible to raccoon predation. Jan 1, 2014 - Herptiles of Michigan: Turtles. The Blanding’s turtle can take 14 to 20 years to reach sexual maturity, so any reproducing adult in the population is crucial to the continuation of the species, especially given the general vulnerability of the population.”, The NOHLC asks that you keep your eyes focused for this beautiful reptile: “The Blanding’s turtle is very easily identified by its highly domed carapace or top shell, its bright yellow throat (the color of sunshine), and the notched upper jaw which gives the illusion of a smile.” They request that if you spot one on the road, to help it on its way, while offering a bit of reassurance, “Don’t worry –they will not bite but perhaps flash you a heartfelt smile of appreciation!”. Their shell is tall, domed, and of darker coloration. Southeast Michigan. Blanding’s turtle uses a variety of wetland habitats, with a preference for shallow, clear, standing water with abundant aquatic vegetation, but it can be found in almost any water body in their area. The three photos above of the young Blanding’s turtles are all from the release site at Shiawassee and this video is from the Detroit Zoo and it explains their “head start” program. See more ideas about Blanding's turtle, Turtle, Blanding. Blanding’s turtles prefer shallow, quiet waters and may be found in ponds, swamps, weedy marshes, sloughs, and backwaters of lakes. : sliders) but with higher-domed carapaces, much longer necks & larger heads. Food items of the Blanding’s turtle are usually eaten underwater and include crustaceans (especially crayfish), insects, snails, small fish, tadpoles, leeches, and plant material. The Blanding's turtle was classified as a threatened species in Minnesota in 1984. Michigan Native Species. Oakland County has some excellent protected pockets of prime habitat that supports Blanding’s turtles. Rather, they prefer areas in the water that contain native aquatic plants, bottom materials and natural debris, and trees and shrubs which provide shoreline cover. Scientific Name: Emydoidea blandingii Size: 6 – 10.8” (adult carapace length) Status: Vulnerable and generally in decline at periphery of range. Most often low/very low levels are observed at best. Their shell is tall, domed, and of darker coloration. Common Map Turtle Graptemys geographica. October 29, 2014. Where it lives: Blanding’s turtles usually inhabit clean shallow waters with soft bottoms and abundant vegetation. Threats include widespread habitat loss, fragmentation of habitats by roads and agricultural fields, and exploitation for food and the pet trade.”. The MDNR changed turtle regulations making our harvest limit the lowest of states that allow take of turtles and also the shortest season. They also explain that Blanding’s turtles are vanishing as habitat destruction increases. Though not federally listed as an endangered species, it is one of special concern in Michigan where its habitats have been fragmented by roads and development. The Blanding’s turtle has earned the nicknamed of the “Semi-box turtle” because its plastron (bottom shell) is hinged like that of a box turtle’s plastron, however it does not snap as tightly shut as a box turtles. Researchers say it is the oldest well-documented Blanding’s turtle and one of the oldest-known freshwater turtles. TURTLE FEATURES: Michigan Turtles are important to humans for many reasons: some species eat insects, some species recycle dead animals, Box Turtles help disperse berry seeds, Snapping Turtles and sometimes Spiny Softshell Turtles are used for human food. Learn about lakes online with MSU Extension. This information is for educational purposes only. in length. Global Distribution and Abundance: The Blanding’s turtle’s global range extends from Wisconsin west to Nebraska and Minnesota, and south into the upper parts of Illinois and Iowa. Issued in furtherance of MSU Extension work, acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Young Blanding’s turtles are also heavily spotted, creating a bit of confusion with the Spotted Turtle. The rest of the skin is also darker, and the under part of its body and neck is a bright yellow color. Seawalls and even rock rip rap can disrupt/break the natural transition between the water and land. Blanding’s turtles are found in and around shallow weedy ponds, marshes, swamps, and lake inlets and coves most of the year. They are very gentle and rarely attempt to bite. Michigan <10% Minnesota 4 Missouri 0 Nebraska >90% Ohio 3 South Dakota 0 Blanding’s turtle, on the other hand, prefers more wetland habitat, a habitat itself that is in need of conservation effort. This activity explores turtle geometry as you design your own turtle shell. Fresh berries, slugs, and earthworms add to the diet on land, however land is wrought with danger, especially during the egg laying season of last month. Observations of body size, growth, and reproduction in Blanding's turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) from western Nebraska. Like most long-lived creatures they have a lower reproductive rate. In addition, when shallow water habitats start to dry up in the summer and fall, some will migrate to another body of water while others enter a state of dormancy or inactivity during hot or dry weather on land by burrowing under roots, mud or plant debris. Once likely common throughout Lake County, Blanding’s turtles have been documented from 17 localities since 1907. Blanding's turtle occurrence map. Turtles have lived on … Blanding's turtles are generally solitary creatures but may tolerate other turtles in the same ponds or lakes. Description. Eastern Spiny Softshell Apalone spinifera spinifera. Blanding’s turtle is a rare species in Wisconsin, carrying the state status of Special Concern, meaning that they are a protected wild animal. If away from water, the turtle will hide into its shell. Trade in Blanding’s turtles appears to be restricted to the pet trade; there does not appear to be trade in meat. These turtles can be found in shallow weedy waters of wetlands, marshes, and swamps. Furthermore, the most critical conservation need identified for Blanding’s turtle is the protection and management of suitable wetland and nesting habitat. With regard to habitat, Blanding’s turtle prefers areas with clean, shallow waters with abundant aquatic vegetation and soft muddy bottoms over firm substrates. Here are several examples of how the Blanding’s turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) may be impacted: MNFI’s Rare Species Explorer is a database containing information on Michigan's 723 rare plants and animals. These turtles can be found in shallow weedy waters of wetlands, marshes, and swamps. Even among turtles, the Blanding’s is a long-lived species. Common Musk Turtle (Stinkpot) Sternotherus odoratus. Animalia: pictures (7319) Animalia: specimens (3017) Animalia: sounds (165) Animalia: maps (42) Class Reptilia turtles, snakes, lizards, and relatives. Blanding’s turtle are medium sized turtles with a … Reference to commercial products or trade names does not imply endorsement by MSU Extension or bias against those not mentioned. Blanding's turtles can be found in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and Wisconsin and Canada (Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Québec). In Michigan there are three turtles included in the petition; the spotted turtle, the wood turtle and the Blanding’s turtle. MNFI’s Rare Species Explorer is a database containing information on Michigan's 723 rare plants and animals. In the United States, the Blanding’s Turtle range stretches from Nebraska to Ohio, extending north to Michigan and south to Missouri. Raccoons, skunks, coyotes and foxes are all fond of fresh turtle eggs and crossing roads to reach sand to lay eggs is often a fatal act. Destruction and degradation of wetlands and adjacent uplands has led to local extirpation in many areas, though this species can be relatively common where suitable habitat exists. Female turtles are brought to the Zoo, where they lay […] Emydoidea blandingii March, 2012. Celebrating and Saving Wildlife: The Detroit Zoological Society participates in a headstarting program for Blanding’s turtles, a native Michigan species. The other turtles native to Michigan are Blanding's turtle, snapping turtle, musk turtle, spotted turtle, wood turtle, eastern box turtle, common map turtle, and eastern spiny softshell turtle. Blanding's Turtle. Such changes can have potential impacts on the health of a lake ecosystem. When suitable nesting habitat is not available, the turtle will settle for lawns, gardens, plowed fields, gravel road, etc. Canadian Journal of … George Reserve. Blanding’s turtles are omnivorous. Wood turtle. They are doing away with all commercial harvest of turtles and frogs. The headwaters region is home to the Blanding’s Turtle - locally common in northwest Oakland County and due to population declines, this species is of special concern in Michigan. Spotted turtle: Adults are 3.5 to 5 inches (8.9 to 12.7 cm) in length and colored black with yellow spots. Compared to most midwestern turtles, Blanding’s lay smaller clutches of eggs and lay less frequently. Bookmark the permalink. According to the Michigan Natural Features Inventory (MNFI) abstract for Blandings’ turtle, the primary threat to Blanding’s turtle is habitat loss, degradation and alteration. Kingdom Animalia animal kingdom. #OaklandTogether. The plastron (underside of shell) is yellow with a dark blotch at the outer corner of each scute, or scale. Blanding's Turtles prefer clear, shallow waters with abundant emergent vegetation. was subsequently returned to the University of Michigan’s Edwin S. George Reserve (ESGR) when it was found to be marked. An adult Blanding's Turtle basks in the afternoon sun in a river backwater area. The Michigan Herp Atlas began in 2004 in an effort to collect observational data about Michigan's amphibians and reptiles. For more ideas on how you can help Blanding’s turtle, visit the. During the summer months, this turtle can be found in many different types of freshwater areas, from lakes and slow-moving streams to marshes and swamps. Find Blanding's Turtle information at Encyclopedia of Life; Blanding's Turtle. Signs of these ancient creatures may be a slow-moving dome lumbering across the road or a mysterious shell appearing like a glistening algae coated rock at the edge of a marsh. Common Snapping Turtle Chelydra serpentina serpentina. State and Federal administrations manage wetlands where these turtles are present and conservation action programs have emerged in these states. The Blanding’s turtle is a long-lived, semi-aquatic turtle in decline throughout much of its range. Blanding's turtles in the Northeast. Such a vertical or semi-vertical barrier can block or obstruct access to necessary habitats for feeding and reproduction by making it difficult if not impossible for them to move between land and water. Wisconsin, to Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and Nebraska. You won’t find a Blanding’s turtle in a noisy lake with jet skis or powerboats, these rather skittish and “shy” turtles inhabit quiet shallow waters with abundant aquatic vegetation. The Detroit Zoo summarized the ongoing work this way on their website. I’ve got the next best thing: A Blanding’s turtle! In Oakland County that habitat includes secluded marshes, chemical free rural ponds with quality shoreline vegetation and slow-moving backwaters; all which is managed by the Six Rivers Nature Conservancy, North Oakland Headwaters Land Conservancy, Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy and many of our Huron-Clinton Metroparks and Oakland County Parks along with some sections of our State Recreation Areas and State Parks under management of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Peripheral populations exist in Missouri and Pennsylvania and isolated populations of landing’s turtles occur in Nova Scotia, New York, and New England (Ernst et al. Midland Painted Turtle Chrysemys picta marginata. The Blanding’s turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) is a long-lived, semi-aquatic turtle in decline throughout much of its range. One of Michigan’s more robust turtle species, the Blanding’s turtle is distinguished by its helmetlike shell and mustard-yellow throat. Reproduction . Of critical importance is easy access to adjacent land habitat suitable for egg laying. This activity explores turtle geometry as you design your own turtle shell. The Blanding's turtle lives in marshes, ponds, quiet streams, and shallow bays. They occupy terrestrial habitats during mating and nesting seasons as well as in the fall. Ten species of turtles are found in Michigan and they are an important part of our state’s ecosystems. They may be found in river … Blanding’s Turtle Species Guidance 1 PUB-ER-683 (last updated August 14, 2017) Blanding’s turtle plastron (part of the shell that covers the underneath of the turtle’s body). Turtle’s shells help protect them, but also have some fascinating geometric patterns. Blanding's Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) is a Special Concern species in Wisconsin. Blanding’s turtles are protected under Massachusetts, New York, Nebraska, Michigan, Minnesota state legislation and regulations. At night, Blanding’s turtle are also found in or under aquatic vegetation. Box 30444 - Lansing, MI 48909-7944 Phone: 517-373-1552 Blanding’s turtle, Page 2 Best survey time: Although Blanding’s turtles are active and can be seen from early April to late October or early The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation sums up the reason why this is: “With hard shells on their tops and bottoms, turtles are instantly recognized and loved by many. Developed shorelines in which natural shoreline vegetation has been removed and replaced to the water’s edge with turf grass or a seawall, may be unable to fully support fish and wildlife species due to habitat destruction and declines in fish and wildlife populations. Removal of “unsightly” fallen trees and shrubs (also called course woody habitat). Final Report submitted to the Nongame Wildlife Program, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Michigan Natural Features Inventory P.O. 1992. The species was listed as threatened in Illinois in 1999 and as endangered by the Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board in 2009. Emydoidea blandingii. They utilize a wide variety of aquatic habitats including deep and shallow marshes, shallow bays of lakes and impoundments where areas of dense emergent and submergent vegetation exists, sluggish streams, oxbows and other backwaters of rivers, drainage ditches (usually where wetlands have been drained), and sedge … The species was listed as threatened in Illinois in 1999 and as endangered by the Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board in 2009. Journal Herpetology, 26/1: 111-114. Blanding’s turtles in Michigan reach sexual maturity in 14 to 20 years (Congdon and van Loben Sels 1993). For more information, visit https://extension.msu.edu. As well, smaller populations can be found in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New York. Nesting sites are typically located in uplands adjacent to wetland habitats in sunny areas with moist but well-drained sandy or loamy soil. This species also requires upland habitat, relying on open sandy areas covered in grasses or shrubs for nesting. Considered a species of special concern in Michigan Michigan State University Extension programs and materials are open to all without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, gender identity, religion, age, height, weight, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, marital status, family status or veteran status.