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With warm weather comes turtles!

May 21, 2014   ·   0 Comments

After a very long winter, amphibians and reptiles of all shapes and sizes are making their arrival back into the wetlands, woods, and gardens. But unfortunately every year thousands are killed on our roads, or find the end of a shovel by those who hate them. Truth? Yes 110% truth. I have seen it first hand.

Amphibians and reptiles are good and necessary to the health of our environment. These little creatures are part of a very important ecosystem that works together to tell us what is going on in our environment. Protecting them and their habitat, as well as our habitat, is critical. Just recently I was able to get two turtle crossing signs replaced and put back up compliments of the Toronto Zoo Adopt a Pond program. These signs have been stolen and replaced twice. Along with getting new signs up (with two more coming in for another turtle sensitive area), I want to thank James and Thomas of the Innisfil Roads Dept. for their help (again), you couldn’t ask for better service – I called and within half an hour they were here and the signs were replaced.

I also spoke with South Simcoe Police Staff Sergeant, Steve Wilson, and got this response to the legalities of theft: “Stealing signs is an offence. The applicable section falls under the Criminal Code of Canada. Theft under$5,000.” These signs are there to protect turtles and make people aware.

Help a turtle across the road if it is safe for you. Always in the same direction they are going. It takes 100 years to replace one female turtle. Only one egg out of 100 will survive to adulthood. They must be 8–25 years old before they can lay eggs, depending on the species. There are eight native species in Ontario and seven are listed under species at risk. Report your turtle sighting to www.torontozoo.com/adoptapond/turtletally.asp Also frog watch. If you handle a frog please do not have anything on your hands, sunscreen, bug repellent or hand cream, as they breathe through their skin. Report with as much information on your sighting as possible.

Need to rescue a turtle? Contact Karwartha Turtle Trauma Center. They will direct you what to do next. Enjoy your sightings and teach your children and grandchildren right. A lot of little lives depend on it. We depend on it!

By Jennifer Howard

         

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