We began studying the Blanding’s Turtle in the region in 2005,
– Prior to construction of I-355, we used baited hoop traps, captured 3 Blanding’s Turtles and identified potential habitats
– During construction of I-355 we radio tracked 24 turtles; all survived construction.
– Following the completion of I-355, we continued tracking turtles and began incubating eggs and head-starting (captive raising) hatchlings to get them through the most vulnerable life stage.
In 2007 we conducted surveys for the Blanding’s Turtle at the North Chicago Wetland Mitigation Bank. While no turtles were found, suitable habitat exists.
In 2016, we captured 14 Blanding’s Turtles in hoop traps in the I-355 corridor:
– 10 were new individuals.
– One was a head-started individual that we released in 2009.
The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County has been head starting Blanding’s Turtles since 1996. We have been contracted to help monitor their population. In 2018 we used hoop traps for 3 weeks in spring and 1 week in fall and caught over 100 Blanding’s Turtles.