Sandy Shaw MPP, Hamilton West–Ancaster–Dundas

Government of Ontario

Blandings Turtle

Published on February 13, 2021

The Blanding’s Turtle is a medium-sized turtle easily identified by its bright yellow throat and chin. Unlike most Ontario turtles that have wide, flatter shells, the Blanding’s Turtle has a domed shell that resembles an army helmet.
















Its shell is black to brown with yellow flecks and streaks and can reach 27 centimeters long. Its head and limbs are black-grey and the bottom shell is rich yellow

Blanding’s Turtles live in shallow water, usually in large wetlands and shallow lakes with lots of water plants. It is not unusual, though, to find them hundreds of metres from the nearest water body, especially while they are searching for a mate or traveling to a nesting site. Blanding’s Turtles hibernate in the mud at the bottom of permanent water bodies from late October until the end of April.

The most significant threats to the Blanding’s Turtle are loss or fragmenting of habitat, motor vehicles, and raccoons and foxes that prey on eggs.

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Meet Seneca, she is known as the loneliest turtle in Cootes Paradise.

Royal Botanical Gardens scientists believe she is the last remaining sexually mature female Blanding's turtle in the marsh, a final holdout from a time when the species was a vibrant part of the local ecosystem. Blanding's turtles — which are known for their bright yellow throat and chin — are listed as "threatened" in Ontario, and there are small numbers of them elsewhere in the area.

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