Our ponds are drying up!
Our fieldwork is well under way with radiotracking the headstart Blanding’s turtles and there has been a lot of movement lately!! We have been noticing the water levels in the ponds dramatically decreasing due to the Level 2 Severe Drought we have recently been experiencing in Ontario. For more information about the drought, click here. It’s possible that this has been driving the turtles to move to different areas of the wetlands in search of bigger, wetter ponds. Turtles rely on water for many of their life processes such as foraging for aquatic prey and finding habitat in which to hide from predators and overwinter. If the turtles cannot find a suitable pond, they may be forced to travel greater distances which would put them at a higher risk of predation and road mortality. Under Level 2 drought conditions, residents are asked to reduce their water use by 20% until natural water supplies improve. There are many things we can do to help conserve water for our native turtles and other wildlife and plant life! Some examples include: taking shorter showers, turning the tap off while we brush our teeth, and purchasing and using dual flush toilets. Do your part to help conserve water and protect turtles’ wetland habitats!
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