Top Three Ontario Turtle Talliers in the Month of May!
Top Three Ontario Turtle Talliers in the month of May!
- John Mills of Toronto submitted 21 sightings of turtles swimming and basking in the Toronto area. That’s right, even big cities have room for our terrific turtle pals! Next time you’re walking in an urban park keep an eye out near ravines, rivers and ponds for turtles sitting in the sun!
- Suzie McComb of Exeter, Ontario, submitted 17 turtle sightings! Check out some of her awesome photos of Painted and Snapping turtles below.
- Don Scallen, long time Turtle Tally participant submitted an incredible 16 turtle sightings in one day! Way to go Don! His sightings included a mixture of Snapping, Painted, and sadly a few Red Eared Slider turtles (the pet store turtle), in the Halton Region.
There have also been a number Blanding’s turtles sighted crossing roads throughout Ontario. This beautiful Species at Risk is always on the move. Blanding’s turtles require a large area of diverse wetland habitats throughout their lifecycle. From small ephemeral pools and swamps, to large marshy expanses, these turtles travel long distances throughout the year to use multiple wetlands for foraging, mating, hibernating and leisurely basking in the warm sunshine. When driving near a wet area, look out for the bright yellow chin and army helmet shape of the Blanding’s turtle crossing the road. Most Blanding’s turtles won’t reach reproductive age until they are 12-14 years old, so if a large female gets hit on the road it can impact that population well into the future.
Thank you Kathy Bastin for your May submission of this amazing picture of three Blanding’s basking with a Painted turtle.
Need help moving a turtle? Check out this cool video from the Adopt-A-Pond Programme on how to safely move a turtle across the road:
You can also help turtles by participating in Adopt-A-Pond’s Ontario Turtle Tally! This citizen science programme collects turtle sightings from volunteers across the province. All the data we collect helps us to identify where turtles live, and helps guide work with our partners to protect turtle habitat! Become a Turtle Tallier today!
For more information about Toronto Zoo conservation programs visit: http://www.torontozoo.com/conservation/