Blanding’s Turtle – New Hampshire Fish And Game Department

Blanding’s Turtle is a fascinating creature that has captured the attention of many conservationists in New Hampshire. As one of the state’s rarest turtle species, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department has taken significant steps to ensure its survival.

In this article, we will take an in-depth look at Blanding’s Turtle, examining its unique characteristics, habitat, and conservation efforts. Join us as we explore the amazing world of this captivating reptile and discover what makes it so important to the state of New Hampshire.

Blanding's Turtle - New Hampshire Fish and Game Department

Blanding’s Turtle – New Hampshire Fish and Game Department

Blanding’s turtle is a medium-sized, semi-aquatic turtle that is found in the northeastern United States and parts of Canada. The species is listed as a “species of special concern” in New Hampshire, and is protected under state law. The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is working to protect and conserve this important species.

Identification and Habitat

Blanding’s turtles are easily identified by their bright yellow chins and throat, and their domed, black-brown shells. They typically live in shallow wetlands, marshes, and bogs, and can also be found in slow-moving streams and rivers. These turtles are also known for their ability to walk long distances over land, and will often travel between different wetland habitats.

Blanding’s turtles are long-lived, with some individuals living for over 60 years. They are also slow to mature, with females not reaching reproductive age until they are 14-20 years old. The slow growth and low reproductive rate of Blanding’s turtles make them particularly vulnerable to threats such as habitat loss and fragmentation, road mortality, and predation.

To protect Blanding’s turtles, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is working to identify and conserve important habitat areas, minimize road mortality through the installation of fencing and wildlife crossings, and reduce the impact of predators through the use of turtle excluder devices in fishing gear.

Threats and Conservation Efforts

Blanding’s turtles face a number of threats in New Hampshire and throughout their range. Habitat loss and fragmentation is a major concern, as wetlands and other important habitat areas are often drained, filled, or developed. Road mortality is also a significant threat, as these turtles often cross roads when moving between different habitats. Predation by raccoons, skunks, and other predators is also a major concern, particularly for young turtles.

To address these threats, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is working to protect and conserve important wetland habitats through land acquisition, easement agreements, and conservation partnerships with landowners. The department is also working to reduce road mortality through the installation of fencing and wildlife crossings in key areas. In addition, the department is working with fishermen to reduce the impact of fishing gear on Blanding’s turtles by promoting the use of turtle excluder devices.

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Benefits of Conservation

Conservation of Blanding’s turtles not only benefits the species itself, but also helps to protect and conserve important wetland habitats. Wetlands are important ecosystems that provide a wide range of ecological services, including water filtration, flood control, and habitat for a wide range of plant and animal species. By conserving Blanding’s turtles and their habitats, we can help to protect these important ecosystems for future generations.

In addition, Blanding’s turtles are important indicators of wetland health. Their presence in a wetland indicates that the ecosystem is healthy and functioning well. By monitoring Blanding’s turtle populations, we can gain important insights into the health and status of wetland ecosystems throughout the region.

Blanding’s Turtles vs. Other Species

Blanding’s turtles are often compared to other turtle species, such as the painted turtle and the snapping turtle. While these species may share some similarities in terms of appearance and habitat, they have distinct differences as well.

For example, painted turtles are smaller than Blanding’s turtles and have a smoother, more oval-shaped shell. They are also more commonly found in ponds and lakes, whereas Blanding’s turtles prefer wetlands and bogs. Snapping turtles, on the other hand, are much larger than Blanding’s turtles and have a more aggressive temperament. They are also found in a wider range of habitat types, including rivers and streams.

Overall, Blanding’s turtles are an important and unique species that play an important role in wetland ecosystems. Through conservation efforts by the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department and other organizations, we can help to protect and conserve this important species for future generations.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Blanding’s turtle?

A Blanding’s turtle is a semi-aquatic species of turtle that is native to North America. They are named after William Blanding, a naturalist who first described the species in 1833. Blanding’s turtles are known for their distinctive yellow throat and chin, as well as their bright yellow spots on their necks and legs.

In New Hampshire, Blanding’s turtles are considered a threatened species and are protected under state law. The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is committed to conserving and protecting these turtles and their habitats.

Where do Blanding’s turtles live?

Blanding’s turtles can be found in wetland habitats such as marshes, swamps, and bogs. They prefer shallow water with plenty of vegetation, but also require areas for basking and nesting. In New Hampshire, Blanding’s turtles are found in the southern part of the state, primarily in the Merrimack River watershed.

Blanding’s turtles are known for their long lives and slow growth rates, which make them particularly vulnerable to habitat loss and other threats. The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department works to protect and restore wetland habitats where these turtles live.

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What do Blanding’s turtles eat?

Blanding’s turtles are omnivorous, which means they eat both plants and animals. Their diet includes a variety of aquatic plants, insects, snails, and small fish. They are opportunistic feeders, meaning they will eat whatever food is most readily available in their habitat.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department monitors the food sources available to Blanding’s turtles in order to ensure that their habitats are healthy and able to support these important species.

What are the threats to Blanding’s turtles?

Blanding’s turtles face a number of threats, including habitat loss and degradation, road mortality, and predation by raccoons and other animals. They are also at risk of being illegally collected for the pet trade.

The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department works to address these threats through habitat restoration and protection, road mitigation measures, and education and outreach to the public about the importance of protecting these species.

What can I do to help Blanding’s turtles?

There are several things you can do to help protect Blanding’s turtles. If you encounter a Blanding’s turtle in the wild, observe it from a distance and avoid disturbing it. If you see a turtle crossing a road, you can help it safely cross the road in the direction it was headed.

You can also support conservation efforts by volunteering with the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, donating to organizations that work to protect turtles and their habitats, and spreading the word about the importance of protecting these species.

Blanding's Turtle - New Hampshire Fish and Game Department 2

Blandings Turtles


In conclusion, the Blanding’s turtle is an important species that deserves our attention and protection. Thanks to the efforts of the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department, these turtles are receiving the care they need to thrive. By working together to preserve their habitats and reduce threats such as road mortality and habitat loss, we can ensure the survival of this unique and endangered species.

It’s important to remember that the Blanding’s turtle is not just another creature in the ecosystem – it plays a vital role in maintaining the balance of our natural world. Its presence in wetlands helps to control populations of prey species, while its diet of small fish and invertebrates helps to keep those populations in check. By protecting these turtles, we are also protecting the delicate ecosystems they call home.

Finally, we should take pride in the fact that the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department is leading the way in conservation efforts for the Blanding’s turtle. By collaborating with other organizations, educating the public, and implementing innovative conservation strategies, this department is setting an example for others to follow. Together, we can make a difference and ensure that future generations can enjoy the beauty and diversity of our natural world.

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