Skip to main content

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

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

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

https://twitter.com/Zoella/status/734763685026091008

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.

https://www.facebook.com/USFWSMidwest/photos/a.115484868503974.32000.112842012101593/1145211978864586/?type=3&theater

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.

https://twitter.com/TwitterMoments/status/734799821396021248

Next Up

Seventh Street Truck Park shooting, St. Paul

St. Paul man pleads guilty in illegal firearms conspiracy

One of the guns Gabriel Lee Young-Duncan obtained was used in a deadly St. Paul shooting last year.

Train Days

Historic locomotives to roll into St. Paul for Train Days

The festival at the Union Depot returns June 4-5.

Dalton tornado

Tornadoes, large hail, damaging wind possible in Sunday/Monday storms

The Twin Cities is among the areas that could get hit.

Redtail Ridge Elementary

Sunbather on the roof triggers shelter-in-place at Savage elementary school

The sunbather told police he was trying to "tan and relax."

Nero

The Raptor Center's ambassador, Nero the turkey vulture, dies at 47

Nero helped save the California condors before taking up his post as an education ambassador.

Ben Leber

Ben Leber named new permanent co-host of 'Twin Cities Live'

The former Minnesota Vikings linebacker was introduced Friday afternoon.

MPR

APM Reports, maker of 'In the Dark' podcast, nixed by Minnesota Public Radio

MPR said "select programming elements" of APM Reports will be incorporated into MPR News.

storm, severe

The latest on holiday weekend severe weather chances for MN

The most significant severe threats are Sunday night and again on Monday.

Arianna Vos

Charges: Driver was drunk, high in head-on crash that killed 19-year-old woman

The young woman killed in the crash was a college student studying zoology.

Related