Turtle nesting beach construction at the Donkey Sanctuary of Canada

This fall, Adopt-A-Pond (AAP) staff and the Donkey Sanctuary of Canada (DSC) staff and volunteers constructed a nesting beach for turtles living in the wetlands at the sanctuary. Funding was provided by the Environment of Climate Change Canada’s Habitat Stewardship Program.

DSC is a 100-acre farm located just outside of Guelph. They provide a lifelong home for donkeys, mules, and hinnies who are unwanted, neglected, or abused. Since DSC’s inception, they have given over 222 equines lifelong homes and thousands of visitors each year spend time with the donkeys and learn about their unique personalities. They also educate visitors about other wildlife found on the farm including reptiles such as turtles.

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A beach was wanted to improve habitat for the turtles on the property. AAP and DSC selected an appropriate site and construction began with an excavator. The area was then lined with perforated material that allows drainage while preventing vegetation from growing through. Finally, it was filled with pea gravel followed by sand. Different species of turtles prefer different types of substrate in which to lay their eggs so the mixture was tailored to accommodate multiple species.

DSC will be monitoring the beach next summer to see which turtles are using it. We are all very excited and hope that visitors to the sanctuary will be too! For more information on the sanctuary, click here.

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