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Blanding’s Turtle Hatchlings Surprise Officials At Dakota County Park In Minnesota

There is another nest in the park that will soon have hatchling Blanding's turtles as well.

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Officials with Dakota County Park in Minnesota were greeted with a surprise; 11 hatchling Blanding’s turtles (Emydoidea blandingii) found in Lebanon Hills Regional Park in Eagan. Officials said another nest in the park will soon have hatchlings of the endangered species as well.

Officials with the parks system have attached transmitters on five turtles in Whitetail Woods Regional Park and Lebanon Hills and they have identified 11 turtles in Whitetail Woods and an additional four have been found in Lebanon Hills. This doesn’t include the hatchlings.

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There are 10 known Blanding’s turtle populations in Minnesota, according to Erica Hoaglund, a DNR nonage wildlife specialist, and she is exited that the new hatchlings were found because she says there is not a lot of information on the turtles when they are young. “It’s possible that we’re missing important pieces of the Blanding’s turtle … puzzle,” Hoaglund told the StarTribune.com.

The Blanding’s turtle is on the CITES list of protected species. It can grow up to nine inches in length and has a life span of more than 70 years in captivity and in the wild.