Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge in Concord is less than 20 miles from Boston, yet it houses a critical population of one of the most threatened species in eastern Massachusetts, the Blanding's turtle. Like many urban and suburban rare species populations, though, the Great Meadows Blanding's turtles have been in sharp decline in recent decades. Since 2003, Dr. Bryan Windmiller has led a citizen conservation effort to protect this population. The project includes habitat enhancement, ecological studies, nest protection, and headstarting, raising young turtles for about 9 months in captivity then releasing them back into the wild. This hands-on project involves the help of a wide variety of people and organizations from people who find and protect turtle nests and dozens of school children who care for the hatchling turtles. Learn more about this and other similar hands-on community based conservation projects that are benefiting other rare species.
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