Wednesday April 17
7:00pm ‐ 9:00pm
Limerick Community Centre - 175 Highway 62 Coe Hill
About How can we help the turtles
Hello from Kelly @ Think Turtle Conservation Initiative
Well, spring is officially here and that means the Ontario turtles will soon be emerging from brumation (hibernation) in relation to the temperatures and weather patterns. So, from here on in there will be a lot of turtle things going on and information to convey or as my husband likes to say, be prepared to be ‘turtlized!’ Not to worry, not so much as that but there will be news to share. As always your support and interest in Think Turtle Conservation Initiative efforts is greatly appreciated as is times a million your concern for the Ontario turtles.
1. EARLY SPRING TURTLES
2. OTCC TURTLE TAXI
3. WATCH 4 TURTLES SIGNS
4. APRIL & MAY EVENT SCHEDULE
1. EARLY SPRING TURTLES
As is the usual case with spring’s arrival, over the coming weeks as the temperature increases, the snow melts and ground thaws please keep an eye out for early spring turtle arrivals. Typically, they would be last fall’s painted turtle hatchlings that chose to stay in their nest over the winter. They sometimes emerge ahead of the other turtles presently in brumation (hibernation).
Incredibly painted turtle hatchlings often spend their first winter in their nest or below the nest cavity only a few inches below the frost line after hatching in the fall. This is a survival strategy known as, ‘overwintering’ used to escape limited food supplies, possible predators, cold temperatures and harsh winter conditions. Ice crystals form around the painted turtles and marginally in them but a self-generated type of antifreeze prevents them from an assured death. They remain in a super cooled state until the spring when the ground thaws and the little turtles emerge from their nest, raring to go. They could show up on your property, in your garden or all manner of places.
There are many potential predators between the nest and their intended body of water and their travels may include crossing a road. If you stop to assist a turtle across the road please pull off the road on to the shoulder as far over as possible and put your hazard lights on. Be Safe! Please think of your safety, the safety of any passengers with you and the other motorists on the road. Having a safety vest in your vehicle is always recommended for such circumstances and the duration of turtle season, approximately April to November. It varies each year again depending on the temperatures and seasonal weather patterns.
Always move the turtle in the direction the turtle is headed. They may be little but they know where they are going. With little turtles facing the possibility of so many predators, should you find one in your garden or on the road you could increase their odds of survival considerably by taking the turtle to the nearest body of water in the direction the turtle was headed. Once there please release the turtle in an area that has a shallow area and ideally varying water depths in the vicinity and has vegetation that will serve as protective covering for the little turtles. The little turtles will spend much of their early years hiding until they have gained some size and girth and are not so vulnerable to predators. It is hoped as many little painted turtles can be intercepted and safely released to go on to live a long and fruitful life. Thank you for your hand in that.
During the next few weeks other wildlife will be emerging from hibernation and may not be as sure-footed and swift to get off the roads. For your sake and their sake please be mindful of potential wildlife encounters while driving.
2. OTCC TURTLE TAXI
As we move closer to turtle season, typically April to November, I would just like to make sure people are familiar with the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre home of the Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre in case anyone got missed along the way. This is Ontario’s ‘turtle hospital.’ It is the ‘ONLY’ wildlife rehabilitation centre in Ontario dedicated ‘SOLELY’ to providing medical and rehabilitative care to the Ontario turtles. The hospital is located in Peterborough. They admit turtles from all across Ontario. Turtles that recover from their injuries are released back into their natural habitat at the point of origin where it is hoped the turtles will go on to live a long life and reproduce for many decades. No matter where you are located in Ontario if you find an injured turtle please call the OTCC at 705-741-5000 as soon as possible.
If the turtle is to be admitted to the hospital and you are not able to drive the turtle to Peterborough or part way a ride can be arranged. The OTCC has a network of ‘Turtle Taxi’ volunteers across Ontario through which they arrange rides for injured turtles. They are always in need of more ‘Turtle Taxi’ volunteers. The greater the number of volunteers and the more widespread the network of volunteers across Ontario the better the chances of injured turtles getting to the hospital in a timely manner to be treated. If you are interested in volunteering please call OTCC at 705-741-5000 or e-mail email@example.com. It is entirely your choice how much time you put in. More information can be found on their website at http://www.ontarioturtle.ca.
3. WATCH 4 TURTLES SIGNS
THIS TURTLE SEASON
Think Turtle Conservation Initiative and the Turtle Guardian partners are teaming up this turtle season to further spread the ‘Watch 4 Turtles’ message throughout communities in Ontario to increase overall awareness to the potential of turtle activity on the roads. With ‘936’ turtles being admitted to the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centers turtle hospital last year and 90% as of the result of being struck by a motor vehicle this very much supports the need for such an awareness initiative. Funds raised from the sale of Watch 4 Turtle signs will again be donated in support of ‘CURE’ and ‘PREVENTION’ both areas the turtles in Ontario need considerable help with.
Updates will be posted in the near future regarding when the Watch 4 Turtles signs will be available to purchase and where they will be available to purchase.
TURTLE SIGN INSTALLATION
If you purchased a Watch 4 Turtle sign last year and took it down for the winter as recommended please don’t forget to re-install your sign this spring.
An important reminder, signs must be installed on ‘your property’ by way of securing the turtle sign to your mailbox post, fence, a tree or a DIY post on your property. Please do not attach a Watch 4 Turtles sign to a town/county/municipality installed address post (911) or a hydro pole or a pre-existing street sign. There are signage by-laws for every county and municipality. Installing signs on property other then your own runs the risk of jeopardizing this awareness initiative. Although you may or may not agree with the signage by-laws this is not the time to be taking that to task this awareness initiative is not about that, it is about a large number of concerned adults and children across Ontario wanting to help the turtles.
Think Turtle Conservation Initiative is looking to find some people in the Bancroft area that would be interested in volunteering time to help paint Watch 4 Turtle signs during the spring and summer months. Volunteers would need to be comfortable painting the Watch 4 Turtles message on the turtle signs and working outdoors (not during bug season & weather permitting of course). If you would like to assist with this awareness initiative in aid of helping the Ontario turtles please get in touch via Facebook messenger or firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you.
AS A MATTER OF INTEREST …
Here is some background about the Watch 4 Turtles sign initiative for anyone that may be unfamiliar with it …
Last year, Think Turtle Conservation Initiative and Scout Canada’s 1st Bancroft Beaver and Cubs teamed up to make six Watch 4 Turtles signs as a way for the Beavers and Cubs to help the turtle