A major threat to turtle populations in our province is the ongoing loss of turtle habitat due in large part to shoreline development along lakes and rivers. While these are prime locations for the summer cottage, they are also the home and nesting areas of many turtle species, which are very sensitive to shoreline alterations.
As a lakeside home or cottage owner, there are many things you can do to improve turtle habitat on your property. The key is to keep your shoreline as natural as possible. If there have already been severe alterations of the natural shoreline you can rehabilitate these unnatural shorelines by removing things like retaining walls to make them suitable for turtles once again.
In keeping with this simple, “go natural” philosophy, it is very important to plant native shrubs and trees (like dogwoods, shrub willows, meadowsweet, Joe-pye weed, and swamp milkweed to name a few!) and keep an un-mown strip or buffer of this native vegetation 10-15 meters deep along your shoreline.