Conservation Initiatives 

Success!  No more Snapping Turtle Harvest

The Snapping turtle was listed as species of “Special Concern” under Ontario’s Endangered Species Act in 2008.  Until the spring of 2017, it was still legal to hunt snapping turtles in Ontario. Read More

Saving Blanding’s Turtles

In 2012, we started a field project funded by the Species at Risk Stewardship Fund entitled “Mitigation of Threats to At-Risk Turtles at a Road Mortality Hotspot”. KTTC gives Blanding’s turtles a “headstart” and tracks their survival and movements in the wetlands using radio telemetry.

Our field studies continue, and in 2017 received a second three-year grant under the Species at Risk Stewardship Fund.  It has also been funded by Wildlife Preservation Canada and TD Friends of the Environment.

Blanding’s turtles that have been hatched from eggs retrieved from injured turtles brought into our hospital, are still being tracked via radiotelemetry.  Their movements and behaviour are being compared to wild-hatched Blanding’s juveniles that are also being tracked.  This study aims to evaluate ‘headstarting’ as a conservation strategy in fresh-water turtles.  It also is adding to the knowledge of Best Practices of this strategy, and the results are being shared at global conservation conferences, as well as being published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

In addition, we are conducting population surveys of all turtles found at our field site (which has not previously been carried out at this site). We are also filling knowledge gaps such as the habitat use by juvenile Blanding’s turtles.  Juveniles are notoriously secretive and we need to understand their habits and habitat use before we can adequately protect them.