PORTLAND — Wildlife biologists in Maine are wrapping up the trapping portion of a two-year study to determine ways to better protect an endangered species of turtle.

The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has captured and released more than 40 Blanding’s turtles in southern Maine to understand how they are affected by suburban development. The turtles for the most part live in the Upper Midwest and small sections of New England, and are at risk from habitat loss and road mortality.

In a collaborative study with New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania, biologists have been trapping and releasing Blanding’s turtles to determine their range, how they use the habitat and where they nest.

The data is being submitted into a regional database and will be processed over the winter.

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