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Become a Turtle Midwife! (Men can be midwives too!)
“Turtles are disappearing faster than any other species on earth.” In fact, seven of Ontario’s eight native turtle species have been classified as “Species at Risk.” This sad fact is primarily due to habitat loss and fragmentation as well as road fatalities. You can play an important role in turtle conservation by getting involved in a simple stewardship activity right in your backyard.
Do you (or anyone you know) have a resident turtle that annually digs her nest on your property? You can help ensure her offspring survive to waddle their way to the water this Fall by using a Turtle ICU (Incubation Care Unit).
“As many as 80% of turtle nests can be lost to predators such as raccoon, skunk and fox.” The animals are attracted by the nest’s strong scent, making the eggs most vulnerable to predation immediately after they are laid and for approximately the next 10 days to 2 weeks. If the nests can be successfully protected during this time, the eggs have a much greater chance of survival. That’s where the Turtle ICU comes in. By covering the nest with the ICU immediately after the female has laid her eggs and removing it in a couple weeks, predators will be thwarted and the eggs will survive to become hatchlings.
The Quinte Field Naturalists are selling the turtle nest protectors for only $10. You can hardly buy the materials and make it yourself for that price (add to that your time) plus it comes with detailed instructions for use (year after year) and a 76 page Turtles of Ontario Stewardship Guide produced by the Toronto Zoo. As a bonus, before and after each nesting season, the ICU makes a great compost sifter!!
YOU can make a difference to local turtle populations! For more information and to get your Turtle ICU (makes a great gift too) contact Quinte Field Naturalists, Denice Wilkins, 613/478-5070 or email@example.com.