Last year The Land Between charity and with The Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre (home of the Turtle Trauma Centre) declared a state of emergency for Ontario’s turtles. This was because there were unprecedented numbers of turtles killed on roads and brought into the trauma centre for treatment. Turtles can live for more than 100 years and some research suggests they live for more than 400 years. Turtles need to live a long time because it takes between 30 and 80 years of laying eggs in order for a turtle to replace itself with one new turtle. Therefore, turtles killed on roads or taken out of the wilderness are a threat to the population. The Land Between bioregion, from the Ottawa valley to the Georgian Bay coast is home to more than 1/3 of all of Ontario’s turtles. It is turtle country! If there is hope to save these species it is here and this hope is well placed in the hands of our kids; our next generations.
Turtle Walks were held across four towns this summer at the height of turtle nesting season (at the flowering moon). Here kids and folks dressed in their best turtle-y gear and dawning home made signs walked to raise awareness and hope, and some walked to raise funds. Pledges totalling more than $5000.00 were collected and will go to the Turtle Tunnels and Trauma Campaign, supporting prevention (fencing and culverts that direct these vulnerables species under roads) and cure (trauma care at Canada’s only turtle hospital at the OTCC in Peterborough).
“It will become our family tradition” said some attendees. Kids from 2 years to teens called out (even when no cars were present) “No more turtle soup!” and “S
ave turtles!” and “Turtles clean our water!”
You can still support the turtle tunnel and trauma campaign, and also see this year’s walk album by visiting www.turtlewalk.ca
To find out more about turtle conservation and how to help turtles, visit www.turtleguardians.ca