Blanding’s turtle babies discovered in Dakota County park
Park officials have found a nest of 11 baby Blanding’s turtles Tuesday in Eagan, thrilling turtle lovers and providing proof that the rare species is reproducing in Dakota County.
Moreover, there’s another Blanding’s turtle nest elsewhere in Lebanon Hills Regional Park filled with eggs that may soon hatch, officials said.
“We’re especially interested in these turtles,” said Tom Lewanski, Dakota County Parks’ natural resource manager. “The turtle is listed as threatened in Minnesota.”
The discovery of the silver-dollar sized hatchlings “informs how we manage the park,” Lewanski said, adding that staffers want to make sure they provide the right habitat for the turtles and don’t do anything to harm them.
Until this year, the park staff knew of only one Blanding’s turtle in Lebanon Hills, said Scott Hagen, natural resource specialist for Dakota County Parks.
Erin Adler • 612-673-1781