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Yes, 7 out of 8 turtle species are actually at risk for extinction. But the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre (OTCC) is doing something about that.

The Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre (home of Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre) work to protect and conserve Ontario’s native turtles and their habitat.

The efforts of the OTCC are focused on:

  • operating a turtle hospital that treats, rehabilitates, and releases injured turtles
  • performing extensive research in the field to further conservation initiatives
  • running a comprehensive education and outreach program.

Kids as young as 3 to 10, known as Kids 4 Turtles, were the original inspiration for the creation of the Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre. The boys and girls raised $5,000 to purchase turtle crossing signs – and worked to get permission to erect the signs across the Peterborough area.

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Source: https://ontarioturtle.ca/kid-heroes/kids-4-turtles/

The height of turtle nesting season is in June. Females are often found crossing roads to reach traditional nesting sites or laying eggs in the gravel along roads…and this is why signage is so important during nesting season. Turtle nests are laid in soil that is easy to dig and provides the correct amount of moisture so the eggs do not get too dry or too moist during incubation.

Unfortunately, the eggs are incubated by the sun’s warmth. Nests are therefore usually laid in a spot where there is not much vegetation to shade the ground, leaving the eggs vulnerable.

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Source: Photo by S. Stick, https://ontarioturtle.ca/get-involved/roads/

According to the OTCC , “less than 1 in a hundred turtle eggs laid will hatch and grow into an adult turtle. Once the female has finished laying her eggs she never sees them again. Nests are easily found and destroyed by predators such as raccoons, skunks, foxes, and coyotes looking for an early summer meal. The babies that do hatch are vulnerable to predators on land and in the water and few ever reach maturity (8-25 years of age depending on the species).”

Seven of the eight species of turtle in Ontario have been designated as “species at risk”. Habitat destruction has played a major role in the decline of turtles. Many of the marshes, swamps, bogs, and wetlands that turtles once called home have been drained, filled, or otherwise altered.

As a result, conservation and education are critical. There is so much to see and learn. You can start with tuning in to Kawartha Turtle TV at https://ontarioturtle.ca/ourmission/kawartha-turtle-tv/.

And then plan to visit. The OTCC’s Education Centre which is open to the public year round.

The OTCC is located at:

1434 Chemong Rd,

Peterborough, ON

K9J 6X2

The Turtle Hospital is only open to the public during the Open House events throughout the year.

Sign up to receive email  news and stay up to date with all of the happenings!  And shop at the OTCC e-store! 100% of the proceeds go toward the medical care and conservation of Ontario’s Turtles.

 

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Source: https://ontarioturtle.ca/shop/

 

 

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