The Blanding’s turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) is a medium-sized, semi-aquatic freshwater turtle that is a threatened species in Massachusetts. They require a variety of wetland habitats, make frequent seasonal overland movements, and therefore suffer mortality from direct wetland habitat loss and landscape fragmentation.
Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge has one of the largest populations in the northeast. Biologists are partnering with researchers to trap turtles to assess their population, as well as doing nest surveys to monitor productivity. Some turtles are “head-started” through the winter at local schools and organizations and then released back into the refuge.