Posted on behalf of the Turtle Guardians:
We are happy to announce 2019 as the year of Tartan Turtle!
Turtles can live a very long time, but, for instance, it takes about 60 years for one snapping turtle to replace itself in the environment – and snapping turtles lay the most eggs!
Therefore, turtle populations in Ontario, are plummeting due to road mortality and habitat loss. Why should you care about turtles? Because turtles are the best vacuum cleaners of our lakes and ponds. They remove harmful bacteria from water which benefits us and all other fish and animals that depend on fresh water.
The walks are part of the Turtle Guardians program. Starting this week and through to mid-May, Turtle Guardians will be presenting in schools across the region, to promote the walks and turtle conservation too! Turtle talks will outline what threats are facing our native turtles and how to identify turtles. We will also be bringing live turtles into the schools. We hope to recruit kids and families to come out for walks, but more to become Turtle Guardians. Guardians are on-the-ground eyes that look out for turtles and report sightings. Becoming a Guardian is fun and is free! And starting May 1st, Guardians and the public in general can report sightings using our new user-friendly app! Reporting a turtle sighting in just 4 clicks, helps biologist understand where to put crossing signs, install turtle tunnels and also helps scientists estimate population trends including which habitats need protection. Turtle Guardians is a collaborative program across south central Ontario, with 10 key partners. The aim of the program is to recover turtle populations and recruit next generations to get in touch with nature and become Citizen Scientists! The program is generously supported by the Ontario Trillium Foundation. Become a turtle guardian by registering online at www.turtleguardians.ca.
If you want to help, and easy and fun way to get involved is to take part in this year’s turtle walks! Walks are held during the highest nesting season for turtles and when they are most likely near roads- during the first weeks in June. Walks are to raise awareness, funding and hope too! They will be hosted on Saturday June 8th in Haliburton, Bancroft, Peterborough, and Orono; and on Saturday June 15ht in Fenelon Falls, Bracebridge, Lindsay, and Foxboro. Each year the walks have a theme, and this year we are honoring the highlands, as the year of the tartan turtle. Prizes for the best costume (turtle-y or tartan-y), best signs, for answering skill-testing questions at the walks, and for the best fundraisers are awarded. Crafts, live turtles, and in some areas bagpipers too, will be at the walks. The OPP and local police have generously agreed to chaperone the walks. Register for a walk at www.turtlewalk.ca.
Please help by adding the walk events to your listings or by passing this message along!
Leora Berman, COO, Turtle Guardians & The Land Between
Kids and Communities helping turtles…in Ontario’s turtle country.
A program of The Land Between and our collaborative partners