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SFS Annual Meeting

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EXAMINING THE LEGACY EFFECTS OF CAPTIVE-REARING ON BLANDING’S TURTLES (EMYDOIDEA BLANDINGII)

The Blanding's Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and is offered protection throughout much of its known range. Significant head-starting efforts have been conducted to recover populations of E. blandingii in northeastern Illinois, with over 2,500 turtles released across an 19-year period. However, the success of these programs both locally and range-wide has not been fully quantified. Our research project gauged the success of an augmentation program in northern Illinois (Blanding's Turtle Recovery Project) by assessing the legacy effects (e.g., long-term physiological health) of captive-reared, recently-released and captive-reared, formerly-released (i.e., captive reared and released prior to 2016) turtles at one wetland location. Our results indicate blood chemistry metrics and stress quickly stabalize following release of captive-reared hatchlings, and first-year survival was over 90% for released animals. Examining these efforts will provide a measure of how released turtles are acclimating to their environment, will help to gain an understanding for the consequences of rearing effects, and will provide an assessment of the health of captive-reared and released turtles.

Armand Cann (Primary Presenter/Author), Loyola University Chicago, acann@luc.edu;


Leigh Anne Harden ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Benedictine University, lharden@ben.edu;


Joseph Milanoivch ( Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Loyola University Chicago, jmilanovich@luc.edu;