For over 20 years the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County has been working to save the Blanding’s turtle, a species found in our area that became endangered due to predators and loss of habitat.
Through Project Head Start, the forest preserve and its partners are helping the population grow.
“We incubate the eggs here and then they will hatch out and then from there we disseminate them to various partners we have that will help rear those hatchlings we have because when they’re born they’re about the size of a quarter,” said Ecologist with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, Dan Thompson.
From there they are raised in a safe environment and then released into the wild when they are between one and two years old.
And now you can be part of saving them through the forest preserve’s new “Adopt a Blanding’s Turtle” program. For a donation of $100 or more you can name a turtle, receive updates on it throughout the year and even get a plush turtle to take home.
“The coolest part is that you’re saving an endangered species in your area, near where you live,” said Fundraising and Development Coordinator with the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, Katie Michel. “I never thought that that was a possibility. You always hear about in Africa or the Amazon or different places, but right here in DuPage County you can help save an endangered species. And they’re cute to boot.”
This year there were over 260 Blanding’s turtle hatchlings.
The funds will go toward caring for the turtles and their environment. To adopt a Blanding’s turtle visit the DuPageForest.org.
Naperville News 17’s Evan Summers reports.