Monthly Archives: November 2010

Planning the Project

You have all worked very hard this afternoon to develop some great guiding questions and a great goal.  Our goal is:  to get Blanding’s turtles off the threatened species list by educating the community about the turtles and their habitats and getting more people to care and be aware of the turtles.

Our questions are:

1. How can we get people to know more about Blanding’s turtles?

2.  How can we help increase the population of Blanding’s turtles?

3.  How does head-starting help the population of turtles?

4.  How can the turtles’ nest be protected from humans and other predators?

5.  How can we alert more people to the danger that the Blanding’s turtles are in so they can be more aware if they see a turtle?

For your homework due on Friday, each table group will tackle one question that corresponds to your table number.  For example, table one takes on question one, table two takes on question two, etc. Please check out the turtle resource page on our home page as well as the earlier post on this page.   Make sure you identify what question you are referring to in your response.  You need to answer the following questions:

a.  What things can we actually work on for this question?  What activities can you see us doing?

b.  What resources do you think we need in order to answer that question?  Resources can be books, internet resources, or people.

c.  What equipment and supplies will we need to answer the question?

d.  What people can we contact to help us with this project?

e.  What other ideas do you have?


Some Ideas on How We Can Help the Blanding’s Turtles

You all did an outstanding job thinking of some ideas on how we can help the Blanding’s turtles.  I’ve copied them out of our Room 305B Responds blog and put them here so they are easier to read.

  • I think you could say it in newspapers or on T.Vs and tell them that they are really rare and get squished by cars so, take care of them.


  • One way we can save the Species is we could get more people to start head-starting turtles. By doing that, more turtles will have the opportunity to grow up without the risk of man-made dangers. So that they will have the chance to be bigger and stronger when they are released. Another thing we can do is if we see a Blanding’s turtle is to contact a wildlife refuge and tell them where the turtle is and if it had a radio on its back.  This will help researchers understand where the turtles are making their homes or give them the opportunity to track a new turtle.


  • To get more head-start programs out there, I would educate people. I would accomplish this by doing the following:
A. Put posters and information packets on bulletin boards at Libraries in the science section,
schools, and visitor centers of a Wildlife Refuge that read something like:
Save Blanding’s Turtles!
Look for them on the road and
if you see them, don’t run
them over. 
B. Go to other schools and recreation centers and explain about the head-start
program and how it will benefit the student’s learning while also saving this threatened species of turtles.
C. Make a blog (like this awesome blog) where people can gather information
about the Blanding’s turtles including what they can do if they ever come across a Blanding’s turtle, as well as respond to what they think about the turtles.
D. Give a online presentation about head-starting turtles and
make a new website for this presentation and/or put it on your blog.
  • One additional thought I had to get more head-start programs out there is:
Have a fundraiser! At the fundraiser you would teach people about the Blanding’s turtles by
playing games that have something to do with the Blanding’s turtles, face paint turtles on kids faces, art projects which for example you could make Blanding’s turtle’s habitat out of a shoebox, and with the money you earn you could do a few things to help the turtles. One thing is have a couple herpetologists go out and look for some turtles to give to classes to create a head-start program. Two, you could pay for more tanks and other pieces of equipment that the turtles need.
  • My thought was to let people know about the issue, and how I can do that is by making signs, writing e-mails to local politicians, and post about it on environmental blogs.
  • We need to stop making all of this stuff and stop ruining their habitats. If you find a turtle on the road or a pathway filled with people, you should pick it up, and move it away from danger in the derection it was traveling in. You should also contact the wildlife people so that they can find the turtle and give it to a classroom to head-start. Head-starting turtles makes them nice and big by the time they go into the wild. Hopefully this will help take the turtles out of the Threatened Species list. Maybe people could go out and track turtles and then they might know when they were making their journeys to find a spot to lay eggs. Maybe the people could then track them on a map and go help them cross roads so that they wouldn’t get hit or killed. Otherwise, we just have to be on a lookout for turtles crossing roads. I also think that people need to know that Blanding’s Turtles are endangered. They need to know that the turtles get killed half of the time. They need to know to stop and get the turtles to safety when they see them on the road. We also could make a ‘turtle crossing’ sign and put it up.
  • I think that turtles lay eggs in the same spot ever year so about the time that the turtles stop
laying their eggs we fence off those spots.
  • I think that head starting is a good because the head started turtle will have a hard shell, sharp claws to protect him/her and so on and so on. I learned that if you head start a turtle it will have lower chances of getting eaten, getting killed and stuff like that but it can’t protect himself or herself from trucks and cars, but it good that 70% less getting eaten.
  • I think the ways I can make the road safer for Blandings turtle to cross by making a turtle crosswalk with crossing signs and a crossing guard. My other idea is to change the road to a bike path, creating an awareness of turtle crossing the area.
  • I think that maybe if someone finds a Blanding’s Turtle (in danger) they could try to take care of it and then get it to Great Meadows as soon as they can. I also think that if the turtle has a radio they should keep it in Great Meadows but not with all of the other turtles. There could be a place that they watch them and make sure they are safe.
  • Maybe we could close the road or put up a bunch of signs and stuff. And also, the driver should pull over and bring the turtle(s) away from the road.
  • Some ways you can learn more about Blandings turtles are:
- You can go to Great Meadows Wildlife Refuge ( G.M.W.R).
- You can go to our class blog.
- You can go online and see some things that other people are doing to help Blandings turtles.
There are lots of ways you can learn more about Blandings turtles and how you can save them.
  • One of the ways that I think will probably help Blanding’s get off of the threatened species list is that we head start more and more Blanding’s turtles. I think we could also make sure that we don’t drive over any turtles when we are driving. Maybe if humans can stop making more buildings, roads and other construction in the turtle’s habitats it would help. And if we build cages around their nests to prevent their eggs from being eaten it will help. I think that we can prevent Blanding’s turtles from being killed on roads by telling people to be more careful when they are driving so they don’t run over animals. Or we can put our hand out when we’re driving to somebody going the other direction about to run over a Blanding’s Turtle. Or we can just be careful and make sure that we don’t run over a Blanding’s Turtle when we are driving. Or we can just spread the word to everyone.   I think that head-starting the Blanding’s turtles is a good idea because, if we head-start them they will get bigger and stronger and when they get bigger and stronger they have a better chance of surviving and when they have a better chance of surviving it is more likely that they will reproduce or have babies and our goal is to have more baby Blanding’s Turtles and get them off of the threatened species list.
  • I think we should make turtle crossing signs or make stop sign on roads that are near a turtle nest.
  • My ideas for making people more aware of Blanding’s Turtles are: 1. Telling people they will be fined if they run over a Blanding’s Turtle. 2. Writing a article in the paper about the importance of Blanding’s Turtles. 3. Handing out fliers about protecting Blanding’s Turtles to people in Concord. Some other ways we can save Blanding’s Turtles are, saving their nests. A lot of the time Blanding’s Turtles die in their nest. If we protect their nest they will at least have a chance at surviving. Make people more aware of themselves. If people were more aware of themselves they wouldn’t run over turtles with their car. Keeping them and protecting them. If we do more of what we do in our classroom. Then the Blanding’s turtles would have a better chance of surviving.
  • I think that we could help the Blanding’s turtles by…
fencing in their nests if we find any of their nests near our houses. We can stop when we see turtles walking across the roads and not put any trash in ponds or lakes that they could be in because it could get them sick.
  • We can build fences around the nests maybe made of stakes and really strong ropes.
 But we could only do it for a few of them if Dr. Windmiller even lets us use the tracking devices to find out where the turtles laid their eggs.
  • I think head starting the turtles would be a good idea because when you have them their shell will get hard.  They can protect themselves better in the wild. How we can get other schools to do this we can have the Concord school people email other towns about this turtle project. We can also put it up on the blog.
  • The program is located in Illinois. 
It is also feeds the turtles individually so the big turtles get a lot and the little turtles get a little bit. 
I think that the program is a little bit better than us because they have more experience than us and they are a company.
  • We can launch more head-start programs by opening more people’s eyes to the severe danger the Blanding’s turtle species is in. If you don’t know about how to help the turtles, you can’t do anything to make things better for them.
  • In other places like in Canada, (two places: Nova Scotia and Great Lakes/St. Lawrence (Ontario and Québec), DuPage County Forest Preserves, and other states like Ohio, Nebraska, Missouri, Maine, New Hampshire, Michigan, and New York, Blanding’s turtles live. In Nova Scotia, volunteers help to protect nests and researchers are rearing hatchlings in areas where the population of Blanding’s Turtles is growing smaller. In Ontario, there are people making many education and outreach programs, but no action plan for species protection and recovery exists. In Illinois, people are capturing female turtles and incubating their eggs-2/3 of them at a warmer temperature, as to make more females. As for the other places, I’m not sure of what they do to help head-start Blanding’s turtles.



This is our newest blog which will focus solely on Blanding’s turtles.  We will have discussions here, as well as find information on how to get the Blanding’s turtles off of the Threatened Species list.  I’m looking forward to reading your findings as well as sharing information with one another.

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