Conservation of the Blanding¹s turtle in the Chiwaukee Illinois Beach Lake Plain

G. Glowacki, Andrew R. Kuhns, K. Cassel

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOtherpeer-review


Blanding’s Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) is a long-lived, semi-aquatic turtle primarily distributed across the Great Lakes region of the United States and Canada that has experienced range-wide declines due to a combination of habitat loss and fragmentation, over collection, road mortality and high levels of predation. It is designated as Threatened (Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, Wisconsin, Ontario and Quebec) or Endangered (Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Missouri and Nova Scotia) in many states and provinces in which it occurs. The Lake County Forest Preserve District (LCFPD), in conjunction with the Illinois Natural History Survey and Southern Illinois University, has been monitoring the Blanding’s Turtle population at Spring Bluff Nature Preserve, a small preserve within the 5,032 acre Chiwaukee Illinois Beach Lake Plain in northeastern Illinois and southeastern Wisconsin, since 2004. This population represents one of the largest (N>165) and most well-studied in the Midwest. However, modeling has indicated that the population is not viable long-term and is in decline due to low juvenile recruitment combined with unsustainable levels of adult mortality. In an effort to secure this population, LCFPD and its partners have conducted landscape scale habitat restoration, initiated a head-starting program and have begun experimental control of meso-predators to increase nest success and juvenile survivorship. Preliminary data suggest that these conservation measures have resulted in increased juvenile recruitment and hopefully as these juveniles mature and reproduce, the extinction probability for this population will decrease.
Original languageEnglish (US)
StatePublished - 2013


  • INHS


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