Happy Turtle Day! MN using federal money to track, protect turtles


May 23 is the day folks around the world slow down enough to appreciate turtles.


And on World Turtle Day, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said Minnesota and two of its neighbors (Wisconsin and Iowa) are getting a new round of funding to protect and study turtles that have low or declining populations.

What's making it tough on turtles?

The Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) says the three biggest challenges are:

  • Nesting sites are getting harder to find
  • Getting run over on roads is a problem
  • Predators raid turtle nests

Four Midwestern states started a project two years ago to protect nesting sites and try to lower mortality rates, especially for wood turtles, smooth softshell turtles, and ornate box turtles.

Three of the states (sorry, Michigan) were successful enough that they're getting new grants to keep tracking turtles, the FWS says.

The states will keep managing existing turtle nesting areas, identify and protect new ones, and share the results of their turtle activity.


What makes for good turtle habitat?

Soft, sandy soil or gravel for laying a nest, not many predators close by, and access to food – insects, berries, earthworms, mollusks, mushrooms.

Oh, and not too much litter. The Minnesota DNR shares the story of Peanut, a turtle in Missouri who got a six-pack ring stuck around her shell when she was a youngster. Peanut grew up with the ring squeezing her midsection.

It's estimated that she had the ring around her for four years before she was discovered and taken to a zoo where it was removed. The DNR says some of Peanut's organs don't work right but she's been living under the care of the Missouri Department of Conservation for more than 20 years now.


Next Up

Ambulance hospital emergency

Driver killed after crashing into parked semi-trailer

The crash occurred on the 5800 block of University Avenue Northeast.

Mike Zimmer

Vikings-Panthers: 5 things you can count on happening

The Vikings will look to open things up in Carolina.

Tanner Morgan/Gopher Football

Morgan's resurgence, Nebraska's miscues help Gophers hold on

The Gophers quarterback threw a pair of touchdowns in a 30-23 victory.

Tina Smith

Sen. Tina Smith warns Dems she may not vote for budget bill if climate plan dropped

This comes amid a White House effort to get its "Build Back Better" plan passed.

Pixabay - emergency room ambulance hospital

St. Paul man dies six days after crash on I-94

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner has identified the man as David Rodney Hardaway.

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

Double murder in northeastern Minnesota, suspect kills himself after chase

The suspect died at the scene from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

chaska school fight

Anti-masker involved in school board meeting fight charged with assault

It happened last month at an Eastern Carver County Schools hearing.

Marcus Foligno

Marcus Foligno throws hands, scores game-winning goal in Wild's opener

The Wild forward scored with 7.2 seconds left to beat Anaheim.

Screen Shot 2021-10-15 at 10.01.55 PM

Large police presence at Emagine Willow Creek movie theater in Plymouth

There are few details at this stage as to what has happened.

Maple Grove Police Department

Maple Grove-based businessman convicted of fatally shooting wife

Wiseman owns properties in both Minnesota, Nevada and China.

betty and earls biscuits facebook

Jason Matheson's biscuit shop to briefly close ahead of relaunch

Betty & Earl's will shut down for two weeks before reopening under a new name.