Blandings Turtle Head STart Project

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In collaboration with Grassroots Wildlife Conservation, a program of Zoo New England, Kestrel has taken on the care of two hatchling Blandings turtles to “Head Start.” Blandings turtles are one of the rarest kinds of freshwater turtle in the Northeastern US. They are threatened by habitat loss, car strikes, and introduced predators.

Our Head Start project gives the turtles a chance to grow much larger and faster than they normally would in a year, while in a safe, warm environment. At the end of the year, if our young turtles are thriving, they will be released into the wild in their native habitat. Turtles have a much higher chance of surviving to be able to lay their own eggs after they spend a year in the Head Start program.

Our Blanding’s hatchlings, Bert, and Ernie, are being monitored by the Rockport Middle School 7th graders and Kestrel’s Conservation Club. Both groups are helping record the turtle’s growth while also learning about population ecology, food and energy, and wildlife conservation work.

Come visit Bert and Ernie in their new home at our Beverly office.

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