Consumers Energy released a dozen rare Blanding’s Turtles Thursday that have been successfully hatched from incubated eggs. Consumers rescued two Blanding’s Turtle adults in 2018, along the path of its Saginaw Trail Pipeline in James Township. The turtles were taken to a safe location during construction, and during that time, twelve eggs laid by the females were incubated, hatched and raised by the company’s
herpetologist over the winter.

The Blanding’s Turtle is listed as a Species of Special Concern, and is protected by a Michigan Department of Natural Resources Order. It’s protected across the species range and is currently being considered for special protection. It has a life span of more than 80 years, but does not reach sexual maturity until about 20. Hatchling  and juvenile turtles suffer very high mortality rates from predators–especially
racoons. For that reason, it can take an adult female decades to produce enough turtles to keep the population stable. The 12 turtles being released today have been given names suggested by Consumers Energy customers and employees. More than 200 names were submitted.

The release took place a site in James Township.