2013 promises to be a very exciting year for field work at Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre.  With huge gratitude to the TD Friends of the Environment Fund (TD FEF), our field work has been expanded this year.  The work under the Species At Risk Stewardship Fund (SARSF) will be continued at our main field site and will be expanded to include 4 other sites, due to the generosity of TD FEF.

Our initial field work, sponsored by SARSF, is multifaceted.   It includes road mortality surveys at a known hotspot, population surveys in a previously unsurveyed region, and radiotracking of released headstarted Blanding’s turtles.  These turtles were hatched from eggs retrieved from females injured or killed at this mortality hotspot region.  They have been released in a pristine habitat nearby, and are being tracked weekly.

Our biggest news- we have discovered that the juveniles we released in 2012 can successfully hibernate and survive in the wild! We are adding to this sample size and are also including a ‘control’ group of wild Blanding’s turtles that will be captured from the wild and also radio tracked- Check out Photos of our “Spring Turtle Blitz” Below.  Following these wild turtles around, will let us know if our headstarted turtle are behaving in a similar way.

In 2013, we will be releasing headstarted Blanding’s turtles at 4 additional sites, and will be following these turtles over the coming months- Stay tuned for our adventures from the bush!

The information we gather will enable us to determine whether this method of headstarting will lead to increased recruitment into the adult population.  With a delayed maturity with this species, this will have to be a lengthy project!

Sue Carstairs

Executive and Medical Director