Despite their hard shells, turtle bodies have little protection from injury. The loss of one adult turtle is significant to the overall population. For example, a 30-year-old state-endangered female Blanding’s turtle can lay a dozen or more eggs each year and live 70 or 80 years. The loss of that one female would mean the loss of the 500 or more hatchlings she would have produced in her remaining life. To make matters worse, hatchlings have low survival rates, and those that survive take 14 to 20 years to reach sexual maturity. In effect, at least 90% of adult Blanding’s turtles must survive each year to simply sustain the population.
Anyone who finds an injured turtle should consult the Forst Preserve District’s Willowbrook Wildlife Center in Glen Ellyn, which provides care and medical treatment to injured, orphaned, and sick native wild animals. The animal admittance area is open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily, but people are asked to call 630-942-6200 before heading to the center.
DuPage County is home to a variety of native turtle species, including musk, snapping, eastern spiny softshell, common map, painted, and Blanding’s.
About the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County
The Forest Preserve District of DuPage County has been connecting people to nature for more than 100 years. More than 5.5 million people visit its 60 forest preserves, 166 miles of trails, seven education centers, and scores of programs each year. For information, call 630-933-7200 or visit dupageforest.org, where you can also link to the District’s e-newsletter and Facebook, Twitter,Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok pages.