Nebraska Game and Parks Commission

 

Date of this Version

2-2021

Citation

Blanding’s Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) A Species Conservation Assessment for The Nebraska Natural Legacy Project. Prepared by Melissa J. Panella and Colleen Rothe-Groleau, Nebraska Game and Parks Commission, Wildlife Division, February 2021

Abstract

The primary goal in development of at-risk species conservation assessments is to compile biological and ecological information that may assist conservation practitioners in making decisions regarding the conservation of species of interest. The Nebraska Natural Legacy Project recognizes the Blanding’s turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) as a Tier I at-risk species. Some general management recommendations are made here regarding Blanding’s turtles; however, conservation practitioners will need to use professional judgment to make specific management decisions based on objectives, location, and a multitude of variables. This resource was designed to share available knowledge of this at-risk turtle that will aid in the decision-making process or in identifying research needs to benefit the species. Species conservation assessments will need to be updated as relevant scientific information becomes available and/or conditions change. The Nebraska Natural Legacy Project focuses efforts in the state’s Biologically Unique Landscapes, but it is recommended that whenever possible, practitioners make considerations for a species throughout its range in order to increase the outcome of successful conservation efforts.

Criteria for selection as Tier I Ranked as imperiled or vulnerable in all but one state in its range

Trends since 2005 in NE Stable

Range in NE Primarily Sandhills marshes, very locally in eastern portion of state

Habitat Requires proximity to water; Sandhills fens, Sandhills freshwater marsh, northern cordgrass wet prairie, small tributaries, Sandhills prairies (upland habitat), marshes and oxbows in eastern portion of state

Threats Habitat fragmentation and loss of wetlands in eastern part of range; vehicle mortality; collection for pet trade

Climate Change Vulnerability Index: Not Vulnerable; presumed stable

Research/Inventory Continue surveys along eastern edge of range within the state as populations recover from extreme weather events of 2019; Continue population monitoring in the Sandhills region and areas further south and west in the state; Collect DNA samples for population research

Landscapes Cherry County Wetlands, Dismal River Headwaters, Elkhorn Confluence, Elkhorn River Headwaters, Lower Loup Rivers, Lower Platte River, Middle Niobrara, Upper Loup Rivers and Tributaries

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