The Iowa Department of Natural Resources is joining with Iowa State University on a project to document and help a specific type of turtle increase its numbers. The DNR’s Karen Kinkead says the Blanding’s turtles don’t mature and reproduce at a very fast rate.
She says there’s been less trapping in the state and that has led to increased predators for the turtle. The Blanding’s turtles are found in wetland areas of northwest and central Iowa.
The plan is to monitor the turtles with radio transmitters.
They also plan to work with the Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines to gather some eggs and hatch out turtles to be placed back in the wild.
The Blanding’s turtles can live to be 75 years old. She says it’s important the DNR’s Wildlife Diversity Program does what it can to help this species.
The DNR is providing $163,000 for the project, with ISU chipping in $57,000. They have a two-and-a-half-year agreement to track and detail the lives of the turtles.