The federal government is considering adding the Blanding’s turtle to the endangered species list, as the yellow-throated reptile that once thrived throughout the Upper Midwest can now only be found in large numbers in parts of Minnesota and Nebraska.
The Minnesota DNR is asking the owners of unwanted turtles and other animals to find their pets “forever homes,” places where the animals can be cared for and watched after for the rest of their lives. Owners are advised not to release the animals – even if they are a species native to Minnesota – into the wild. The pets may harbor diseases that could be potentially harmful to them, or other wildlife, following their release, the DNR said in a press release Tuesday.
It’s the time of year when turtles of all shapes and sizes are on the move. Many, including the Blandings Turtle, cross busy roadways to lay their eggs. The Blandings is a protected species in Minnesota, and some in the south metro worry it’s even more at risk in their neighborhood.