Upper Rideau Lake is home to several species of turtles and all of them are designated as species at risk. Reasons for this include many factors such as loss of habitat (draining or filling of wetlands), habitat degradation ( pollution, shoreline alteration, overgrazing), predation, illegal collection for the pet industry and death on our roads.
Here are how our various species are rated:
The Spotted Turtle and Wood Turtle are currently on the Endangered list in Ontario. This means that they live in the wild but are facing imminent extinction or extirpation.
The Blanding’s Turtle is considered Threatened, meaning that it lives in the wild in Ontario, is not endangered, but is likely to become endangered if steps are not taken to address factors threatening it.
Eastern Musk, Northern Map, Snapping and Painted Turtles are on the Special Concern list. They live in the wild, are not endangered or threatened but may become threatened or endangered due to a combination of biological characteristics and identified threats.
You can find a picture and information about each of these turtle species at the following links:
What can we do to help protect our turtles and support their survival?
Learn more about turtles - see the links above.
Slow down to avoid turtles on the road, and if safe to do so, help them to cross. Get help for injured turtles: Turtle crossing: how to help injured turtles on Ontario roads (ontarionature.org)
Report a sighting: https://www.inaturalist.org/
Ensure that your property supports turtles: https://www.rvca.ca/stewardship-grants/shoreline-naturalization/shoreline-naturalization-program
Reduce your environmental footprint: https://ontarionature.org/take-action/reduce-your-environmental-footprint/
Protect turtle egg nests on your property:
Westport ECO Fest
URLA will have a display at the Westport ECO Fest on Saturday, June 3, 2023 10:00 am -4:00 pm, 43 Bedford St., Westport ON.
Come and see us and purchase a turtle nest protector if you have seen turtles nesting on your property. Special rate for URLA members!