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Blanding’s Turtle

Scientific Name: Emydoidea blandingii

Species Ambassador:        


Morla was found in Kentwood and brought to the Blandford Nature Center in 2004. She is missing part of her back right leg.  This was most likely caused by a car accident or an animal attack.  Without all of her legs, Morla would not be able to dig a hole in order to hibernate and survive through the winter.

Status of Blanding's Turtles in Michigan

These turtles are a species of special concern in our state.


Blanding’s Turtles prefer isolated coves and weedy bays.  Further inland, these turtles can be found in ponds, marshes, swamps, bogs, wet prairies and slow-moving rivers.  During the spring and summer, Blanding’s turtles nest in open, moist areas with well-drained soil.


Blanding’s Turtles are omnivorous, eating crustaceans, insects, fish, plants, carrion and vegetable debris.

Importance of Blanding's Turtles in Our Ecosystems

These turtles help to keep insect populations in check and also help disperse seeds of the plants that they eat.

Threats to Blanding’s Turtles

The destruction of Michigan wetlands has caused a large decline in suitable habitat for these turtles.  They are also susceptible to being run over by automobiles since they end up crossing roads on the long trek to their nesting grounds.

How We Can Help Blanding’s Turtles

-Reduce the use of fertilizers and other chemicals near waterways.

-Be aware of Blanding’s Turtles crossing roads.

-Do not collect or harm the turtles.  They are protected by State law!

-Help keep track of Blanding's turtle populations by contacting the Michigan Natural Features      Inventory at 517-373-1552.

Interesting Facts

-Blanding's turtles take 18-22 years to reach sexual maturity.

-The short rounded snout and notched upper jaw of the Blanding’s Turtle make it appear as if it   has a permanent smile.

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