Turtle basking rafts in local stream.
The Counties of Leeds and Grenville are home to several species of turtles. Unfortunately all the turtles found in this area except for one species (the Painted turtle) are at risk. There are several reasons that the turtles are at risk in the area. The major reasons are traffic mortality, loss of habitat and with some species such as the Common Snapping Turtle, persecution from people.
LGSC,working with the South Nation Conservation Authority have installed basking rafts, nesting sites and have fenced road shoulders to create nesting habitats.
We continue to care for the basking rafts in the creek and the fenced nesting areas on the road shoulders on the Skakum Road and installed a raft to create basking sites in the Lord’s Mills Quarry, which is home to Blanding’s and Painted turtles.
LGSC has installed two nesting sites and two rafts at the Skakum Road Bridge across the Chippenhook Creek. The Creek is home to both Snapping and Painted turtles. The nesting sites have shown signs of nesting and two rafts are functioning well.
Working with the South Nation Conservation Authority, a rectangular cedar log crib nesting site was installed at Stephenson Road. This site was selected due to reports and observations of heavy nest activity on the shoulder of the road. Habitat enhancements are designed to replicate natural turtle nesting areas typically found on roadsides.
To help the turtles out in the area the LGSC have completed and continue to work on several projects. These projects include basking rafts, nesting platforms and road side fencing as well as provision of turtle crossing signs. The objectives of these projects is to decrease the chances of turtles being hit on roads while still enabling them to move from area to area to breed and lay eggs.
In 2017 two additional rafts were assembled and deployed. The two rafts were placed in Cooligan Creek (which flows into Lower Beverly Lake) on March 3, 2017.
Cliff Rogers, Dave Robertson and Jack Henry will continue maintenance and additions to the rafting turtle sites as part of the ongoing program.