It has widest distribution in Canada. The wood turtle can be found in or along clear, slow-flowing rivers, streams and creeks, scattered throughout Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Southern Quebec and Ontario. Many of the marshes, swamps, bogs, and fens that turtles once called … Turtles eat a combination of vegetables, turtle food and, depending on the species, insects. It apparently existed here until the 1500s but it is thought that sightings in the 20th century likely come from released pets. Named for its markings, this turtle has contour lines on its upper shell that look like a topographical map. Like their name implies, these turtles are likely to be found in woodlands or floodplains during the summer months. But it can take decades of nesting for just one egg to survive to replace the turtle that laid it. Its feet are fully webbed, allowing it to maneuver quickly in water. You may withdraw your consent at any time. Learn about the nine freshwater turtles in Canada, as well as the leatherback seaturtle. All eight of of the species of turtle in Ontario have been designated as “species at risk”. Note: the Eastern Box Turtle is considered extirpated in Canada. Les navigateurs désuets ne disposent pas de caractéristiques sécuritaires permettant d’assurer la sécurité de vos renseignements. They’re considered extremely intelligent and have been documented using creative methods to get their food, including stamping their feet to cause earthworms to come to the surface. Les navigateurs désuets ne disposent pas de caractéristiques sécuritaires permettant d’assurer la sécurité de vos renseignements. On the other hand, females are most frequently observed in June, during the height of their nesting season. Keep an eye out for a light stripe above and below the eye on each side of the head in adult turtles. However, this small turtle only reaches a maximum length of 13 cm. Endangered – species that face imminent extirpation or extinction (extirpation means that the species no longer exists in Canada but does exist elsewhere). Conservation Concerns • Vulnerable to shoreline development, which destroys nesting habitat, and to water pollution due to the turtle… Note: the Eastern Box Turtle is considered extirpated in Canada. Since a species can have a population that is healthy in one province but not another, the status can be different provincially vs federally. Ten different turtle species live in Ontario, and six of them are at risk of disappearing from the province! Fun fact: This turtle is no dunce. Summary of Research/Monitoring The Ontario Multi-species Turtle at Risk Recovery Team is assessing the threats to numerous turtle species in Ontario. All ectotherms have a unique “preferred optimal temperature zone” that is essential for all their physiological mechanisms (moving, eating, mating- even their immune system depends on this temperature range!). Fun fact: With the ability to get nearly half the oxygen they require by breathing through their skin in the water, they’re able to stay submerged for up to five hours. The Turtle Guardian Program delivery area is in The Land Between– a region where 1/3 of Ontario’s turtles live. Turtles need a minimum 30-gallon size aquarium with a screened top. Only one species can be found from coast to coast, the Painted Turtle. Fun fact: Unlike most other turtles, spotted turtles spend the summer or dry season in a state of inactivity to avoid hot dry weather. They can be found in a variety of habitats such as lakes, ponds, rivers, marshes, and bogs. While these populations are concentrated around Georgian Ba… “If you can save one turtle by moving it off the road, that makes a big difference to the overall conservation of the species.”. – species that face imminent extirpation or extinction (extirpation means that the species no longer exists in Canada but does exist elsewhere). Using the chart provided, each student, within each ... -Ontario’s smallest turtle -rarely leave water -aggressive on land because of vulnerability due to small plastron This designation is decided upon by a committee acting on behalf of the province (Committee on Status of Species at Risk in Ontario, or ‘’COSSARO’) and also a separate committee acting on behalf of the whole country (Committee on Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada or ‘COSEWIC’). In addition, our hatchling program augments this by returning babies hatched from the hospital patients, back to their mother’s wetland. Fun fact: This turtle is named for the odor it emits when it’s threatened, which—you guessed it—is strong and musky. The gender of many turtles, including all of the species found in the Kawarthas, is determined by incubation temperatures. Turtle nests are laid in soil that is easy to dig and provides the correct amount of moisture so the eggs do not get too dry or too moist during incubation. But that’s in danger of changing—of the eight species, seven are at risk. It was designated a species of special concern by COSEWIC in 2002. “Turtles help to control aquatic vegetation and help to clean our creeks and wetlands by eating algae and dead and decaying fish and other organisms,” said Hope Brock, Healthy Watersheds Technician with Ausable Bayfield Conservation. Once much more common, the province’s smallest turtle, which carries a shell that’s less than 13 centimetres long, is … Protect Canada’s waterways and habitats that the Blanding’s Turtle calls home. All freshwater turtles in Canada are species at risk under federal law. Fun fact: With a natural “antifreeze” that prevents them from freezing, these turtles can survive temperatures as low as -9º C. Fun fact: One of the largest threats to this turtle’s pollution is water pollution. Some species are very particular about where they live. Canadian populations of the spotted turtle (Clemmys guttata) are now found only in isolated pockets around central and southern Ontario. Map turtles, for example, prefer larger rivers or lakes and may be spotted along the Trent-Severn Waterway. The spiny softshell turtle is the latest species, native to Ontario, to be designated endangered because of decreasing population. A long snout makes this peculiar-looking creature unmistakable from its counterparts. .Since there are roads on average every 1.5 km in Southern Ontario, and turtles can often travel many kilometers, they inevitably encounter roads in their travels. Its carapace (top shell), and skin are a olive/black colour. All ectotherms have a unique “preferred optimal temperature zone” that is essential for all their physiological mechanisms (moving, eating, mating- even their immune system depends on this temperature range!). Threatened– species likely to become endangered if nothing is done to reverse the factors leading to extirpation or extinction. Species of Special Concern-species that may become threatened or endangered because of a combination of biological characteristics or identifiable threats. Females are much larger than males, and can grow up to 27 centimeters long, whereas males reach a maximum of 13 centimeters. We … The snapping turtle lays around 50. You’re most likely to spot turtles in marshy areas where there is native aquatic plant life. Easily spotted on the move, painted turtles will move over large areas overland in search of nesting sites. The centre specializes in the care of native Ontario turtles. In China, turtles large and small are used for both food and medicine.By the early 1990s, many local populations of turtles had disappeared within the country, so turtles began to be imported from around the world. Once the female has finished laying her eggs she never sees them again. En savoir plus sur les navigateurs que nous supportons. There are 8 species of turtles in Ontario, and most of these can be found on Lake Huron. Turtles are very slow to mature, so often it can be 15-20 years before they even reach maturity! In the meantime, here’s a list of common differences among Ontario’s to help you get started: Fun fact: These turtles can live to be 75. We recently published these findings in the journal Canadian Field Naturalist, and it is currently In Press. Unlike birds, turtles do not tend their nests once laid, nor care for their young once they hatch. Eight turtles are also on Ontario’s list of species at risk. see figure below,  which shows the admission numbers to OTCC, of Blanding’s (top), snapping turtles (middle) and painted turtles (bottom). Northern Ontario’s turtle tussle pits scientists against quarry builders, with a threatened species caught in the middle. The northern map turtle is not designated at risk provincially in Ontario. That increased adult mortality is actually what’s driving the population down,” explains John Urquhart, conservation science manager for Ontario Nature. It’s also called “stinkpot.”, 3. Ontario is a vast province, rich in biodiversity. Yet every year, more plants and animals are added to Ontario’s list of species at risk, which now numbers more than 200. In Ontario, locating a single Blanding’s turtle triggers legal protection of all suitable wetlands within up to two kilometres of the occurrence. It also lives in bogs, marshes, meadows, coniferous forests, mixed forests and agricultural lands. Learn More. The life history of the snapping turtle, however, like that of most of Ontario’s turtle species, is characterized by a late age of maturity and a slow reproduction rate, and adults normally live a very long time in the wild – up to 70 years for many individuals. Ectotherms cannot survive in very cold climates, and so are not found in the far north, and must hibernate in the winter in the south, Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre © 2020, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. These are the only non-threatened turtle species in Ontario, but they are still susceptible to the threats that face other turtles. Our hospital helps to reverse some of the effects of road mortality, by returning turtles to the wild that would have been lost on the roads. 7 of these turtle species are considered species at risk. They also feature a yellow spot behind their eyes. As the name implies, the softshell turtle has a soft, leathery shell. But during nesting season, which runs from late May to early July, you’ll also spot them crossing roads and in sandy or gravel areas. The Ontario Reptile and Amphibian Atlas provided us with a GIS shapefile of all Blanding’s Turtle observations records partitioned into 1x1 km grid squares. Overharvesting is not confined to large species. Fun fact: Most Ontario turtles only lay somewhere between three and 15 eggs. By submitting your information via this form, you agree to receive electronic communications from Cottage Life Media, a division of Blue Ant Media Solutions Inc., containing news, updates and promotions regarding cottage living and Cottage Life's products. Roads have been built through several of the remaining wetlands, and as a result road mortality is now a major threat to turtles, second only to habitat loss, Other threats include illegal collection for food or the pet trade, boating mortality, and fishing bycatch. He also recommends taking a picture of the turtle with your phone and uploading it to Ontario Nature’s Reptiles and Amphibians Atlas, which features the most up-to-date maps of turtle species across Ontario. For more information on Ontario’s turtles, visit the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry‘s site, or Ontario Nature. The Land Between charity and Scales Nature Park are the backbone of this collaborative effort with our amazing partners . A long hot summer means that more of the young turtles will develop as females. Incubation times vary depending on the weather conditions over the summer, but the eggs generally hatch in late summer or early fall. The Spotted Turtle occurs only in eastern North America. Not the strongest of swimmers, these aquatic turtles are usually observed walking on the bottom of small ponds and rivers or crossing roads. Many of the marshes, swamps, bogs, and fens that turtles once called home have been drained, filled, or otherwise altered. -species that may become threatened or endangered because of a combination of biological characteristics or identifiable threats. We help to mitigate all of these threats. Painted turtles feature distinctive black shells with dark red or orange markings. However, it’s most clearly identifiable from the yellow spots marking its shell. With a highly sculpted upper shell, Ontario Nature calls this species “one of Ontario’s most attractive turtles.” The neck, chin and and front legs are a vivid orange-yellow colour. Threatened in Ontario, Endangered  in Canada, Endangered in Ontario, Threatened in Canada, Midland painted:  Special Concern in Canada, Designation of Turtle Species Provincially and Federally. Snapping turtles are the largest species of turtle in Ontario, take nearly 20 years to reach maturity, and can live to be more than 70 years old. Why save a turtle? This is due to habitat loss, road mortality and even poaching for the pet trade. Locating these individuals therefore is a critical first step in protecting the species and its habitat. En savoir plus sur les navigateurs que nous supportons. Other species, such as Painted turtles, can be found in a wider variety of habitats. Blanding’s turtle is a threatened species in Ontario. Ontario’s freshwater turtle species play an active role in our ecosystem. The species has also been observed in Québec, but no population is known to be established in that province. If purchasing a turtle as a pet, ask the store where it comes from and how it … Usually the males are the first out and about – on their way to find mates, to find their ‘hangout’ spots for the spring and their favorite wetlands. Our field work adds to knowledge of turtle populations and also of the merits of ‘headstarting’ as a conservation strategy. They’re also likely to be seen on the move; Blanding’s make the largest overland movement of any Ontario turtle to move from their summer nesting spots to overwintering habitat. Types of Turtles. Most species live at least 30-40 years and some species can live to over 100 years! Our education program addresses all threats, and teaches the public how to become stewards to help in the conservation of these vital members of our wetlands. The neck, chin and and front legs are a vivid orange-yellow colour. (Carstairs, Dupuis-Desourmeaux and Davy, 2018). “The more information we get, the better we can protect our turtles,” explains Urquhart. Ectotherms cannot survive in very cold climates, and so are not found in the far north, and must hibernate in the winter in the south. Most likely to be confused with musk turtles, snapping turtles are significantly larger and grow up to 47 cm long. Turtle bones of several species have been reported from a number of archeological sites in southern Ontario and Quebec (Bleakney 1958; Adler 1970; Dodd 2001; Pearce 2005). Read What Do I Feed My New Turtle or Tortoise? We included only squares with the most recent record occurring within the last 20 years (1995 or more recently). Like their name implies, these turtles are likely to be found in woodlands or floodplains during the summer months. Snapping turtle in Ontario 0 50 100 200 300 400 Kilometres ©Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2012 Communities Roads as recorded by the Ontario Natural Heritage Information Centre as of February 29, 2012 Species occurrence This map should not be relied on as a complete and accurate representation for locations of species at risk, routes or locations, Over the past 30 to 40 years, 104 populations have been noted in Ontario. With a highly sculpted upper shell, Ontario Nature calls this species “one of Ontario’s most attractive turtles.”. 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