holly – Eighteen juvenile Blanding’s Turtles have been released into a restored wetland along the right-of-way of a utility pipeline north of Detroit.
Consumers Energy employees have joined Herpetological Resource and Management and the Michigan Sea Life Aquarium as part of the Holly release in Oakland County, the utility said Thursday.
Turtle eggs and 31 adult and juvenile Blanding’s Turtles were rescued in 2020 along the power company’s Saginaw Trail pipeline that stretches north from Oakland County to Saginaw County.
Herpetological resources and management staff collected the eggs as part of wildlife work on the pipeline to move reptiles and amphibians with a focus on rare species, Consumers Energy said.
Adult turtles have been moved to safe locations outside of the construction area. After the eggs hatched, the juvenile turtles were cared for over the winter.
The pipeline is a 90-mile, $ 610 million improvement project to upgrade legacy natural gas infrastructure in Saginaw, Genesee and Oakland counties. More than 29,000 turtles, frogs, salamanders, lizards and snakes were rescued and relocated from the project area during construction, according to Jackson’s Consumers Energy.
A special seed mix was also planted to restore more than 550 acres of wild and wetlands where the pipeline was buried to create new habitat for butterflies, bees and other pollinators.
In 2019, Consumers Energy released a dozen juvenile Blanding’s Turtles into a habitat in the Saginaw area created for them by utility workers.
The turtles hatched from eggs laid by two adult turtles found along a path of the pipeline. The adult turtles have been moved to a safe place.