Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units Program:
Education, Research and Technical Assistance for Managing Our Natural Resources


Blanding's Turtle conservation in Iowa

January 2022 - December 2024


Participating Agencies

This project will allow our states to focus on assisting populations of this endangered turtle in both Iowa and Illinois. We will use radio-telemetry to follow the turtles to determine how the respond to habitat management and utilize the study areas. Additionally, we will estimate survival probability to better understand population demographics of this species. This project will increase our knowledge of where populations currently exist in each state and how they respond to the management actions. The purpose of this application is to implement habitat management on private lands and continue habitat management on public lands in order to provide additional areas to expand and support known populations of Blanding’s turtles. In addition, we will follow the turtles using radio-telemetry in order to collect and evaluate information about their response to the habitat manipulation in an adaptive management framework. Illinois DNR will also initiate an intensive monitoring effort in an under-surveyed area of the state. Iowa DNR will begin a head-starting program for these turtles by collecting eggs, hatching and raising the turtles, and then releasing the turtles onto the property from which they were collected. The Iowa head-starting program will be overseen by the Blank Park Zoo, an Association of Zoos and Aquariums accredited zoo.

Presentations Presentation Date
Lang, E.M., S.J. Dinsmore, A.M. Tucker, and K.E. Kinkead. 2024. Movement Ecology of Blanding's Turtles in Central Iowa. Oral Presentation at the Iowa Chapter of The Wildlife Society Winter Meeting. Ames, IA. February 2024