Return to the Wild - Evolving perspectives on Canadian wildlife
In Canada, the Blanding's turtle is found in southwestern Quebec, southern Ontario and southern Nova Scotia.

Did you know?

The temperature in the nest of a Blanding’s turtle determines the gender of the hatchlings: eggs incubated at a low temperature produce males, while a higher temperature produces females.

Scientific name: Emydoidea blandingii
Average weight: 1.3 kg
Average length: 18 cm–25 cm (male slightly larger than female) (shell)
Average lifespan: 70 years+
A Blanding's turtle moves along the sandy ground.

Our changing understanding

The story of the Blanding’s turtle shows how humans sometimes learn from their mistakes. A geographically separated population in Kejimkujik National Park, in Nova Scotia, was spotlighted in a mid-1990s issue of the magazine.

The Blanding’s turtle also exists in Ontario, Quebec and several U.S. states, such as Iowa, Minnesota and Maine. However, the population in Canada’s East Coast is the most isolated of its species, and evolutionarily speaking, this can be a good thing. Marginal groups, while more likely to become extinct, are important, as the different genes can lead to evolutionary changes, which can ultimately ensure the success of the species even if its relatives in other areas do not survive.

When the Blanding’s turtle was threatened in Nova Scotia, the province gave the turtle protected status in 1990, which bought the flagship species some time. This is especially important to the whole region, because the turtle’s well-being means a healthy ecosystem.