Our Story & Mission 

Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre (home of Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre) is a registered charity whose goal is to protect and conserve Ontario’s native turtles and the habitat in which they live. We accomplish this by operating a turtle hospital that treats, rehabilitates, and releases injured turtles, by performing extensive research in the field to further conservation initiatives, and by running a comprehensive education and outreach program.

OTCC strives to increase awareness of the challenges facing Ontario’s turtles and to inspire individuals to act- that one person truly can make a difference!

Take a look inside the OTCC:

Our Origins

Kids 4 Turtles were the original inspiration for the formation of the Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre. This group of young conservationists, ages 3-10, raised almost $5,000 to purchase turtle crossing signs and obtained permission from the Peterborough County Council to erect signs throughout the county. Kids continue to play a major role in fundraising and awareness campaigns.

Visit the Kids section of our site to read more about kids we look up to.

Ontario Turtles – A Species at Risk

With seven of the eight species of Ontario turtles now listed as species at risk, there is much work to be done to prevent turtles from disappearing from our ecosystems. But each turtle saved can make a difference. Less than 1% of eggs make it to adulthood, so every turtle’s ability to reproduce over many decades is crucial. Thankfully there is plenty we can all do to help make Ontario a safer place for turtles!

  • Visit the Turtles 101 section of our site for more information about turtle biology, ecology, and the species that are native to Ontario
  • In the Get Involved section you will find information how to become a volunteer, member, donor, or lend a hand to turtles you come across on the road or on the water.

OTCC works hard to ensure that our fundraising practices are transparent and accessible to you. If you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us. Annual Reports can be found here.

Recognitions and Awards

Ontario Turtle Conservation has been honoured to received the following recognition in the area of conservation.

2018 – The Environmental Excellence Stewardship Award from the Otonabee Region Conservation Authority

The Otonobee Regional Conservation Authority presented the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre with an award for Environmental Excellence in the area of Stewardship.  OTCC’s extensive education program promotes stewardship practices to a wide audience, in interactive presentations both on-site and as outreach.  We also practice what we preach, and even recently planted a pollinator garden in our outdoor education facility!

2017 – Women in History Month

OTCC’s  Executive and Medical Director Dr. Carstairs was recognized at a reception at Queen’s Park that highlighted 25 women ‘leading and shaping the future’.  Her recognition was  in the area of conservation.

2016 – The Silver Salamander Award

The Silver Salamander Award is presented by the Canadian Herpetological Society, to an individual or an organization in recognition of a specific contribution to the conservation of amphibians and reptiles in Canada.

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