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.
The Turtle Guardians program is a collaborative program that has resulted and evolved in response to to the turtle crisis. With partners of The Land Between charity, Ontario Nature, The Toronto Zoo, the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre, Scales Nature Park, EcoKare International, The Trillium Lakelands District School Board and Curve Lake First Nation Cultural Centre, the program has launched Turtle Walks.
Turtle Walkers register and raise pledges in support of the Tunnel and Trauma Campaign. Here half of the funds raised support “prevention” – research and installation of turtle tunnels (fencing to direct turtles under roads) and half of funds go to support “cure” – trauma care for injured turtles at the OTCC.
“These walks are to raise funding, but also to raise awareness and to give kids and people hope. They are community actions and bring people together for a common cause. This is our first year and we hope they become annual events and events that span Ontario.” Leora Berman, COO and Founder.
Walks are held on Saturday mornings from 10 to noon and are 2-kms. The walks are during the flowering moon -the most active time for turtle nesting in central Ontario. Walks are being held in Peterborough, Bancroft and Fenelon Falls on May 26th; and in Bracebridge and Haliburton on June 2nd.
Please join in and support this cause by registering at www.turtlewalk.ca