Teen Homeschoolers "Head-Starting" Rare Turtle Species at Oak Knoll
Blanding's Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) is a rare, semi-aquatic freshwater species that requires different types of wetland habitat throughout its life cycle. The species is listed as "threatened" in Massachusetts and is currently being considered for listing under the federal Endangered Species Act.
Our students have shown incredible diligence and dedication to this important conservation work!
"Head-starting" these hatchlings requires students to feed them, conduct health and weight checks, measure shell growth, and collect wild aquatic invertebrates from streams that they then train the turtles to eat.
Thanks to this excellent caretaking, these Blanding's Turtles are on track to gain the substantial weight they need in order to survive in the wild!
The head-started individuals that meet the requirements will be released by USFWS scientist Stephanie Koch in June 2021.
Watch this video to learn more about the importance of this program and its impact on students.