Wild Things: Endangered Turtles Get a Headstart from Forest Preserve District

The Blanding’s turtle is a state-endangered species in Illinois. Fragmented and reduced wetland habitats, increased nest predation rates and biological factors have limited this turtle’s population, success and survival rates in DuPage forest preserves. The Forest Preserve District has been working to revitalize the county’s dwindling population in its preserves since1996, spearheading a headstart program and collaborating with partners including the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, Brookfield Zoo, Wheaton Park District’s Cosley Zoo and St. Charles Park District’s Hickory Knolls Discovery Center.

Ecologist Dan Thompson talks about the headstart program, tracking turtles in the field and our success rates at hatching more than 2,500 hatchlings at Willowbrook Wildlife Center on Wild Things on WDCB 

                    

Learn more about the Blanding’s turtle and Ecologist Thompson’s first-person perspective about helping the population, one egg at a time. Then, read about why turtles — like the Blanding's — leave wetlands and cross our roadways to get to dry land in "Caution: Turtle Crossing," also written by Ecologist Thompson.    

The Blanding's turtle makes its home in some forest preserve wetlands.

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