Ontario Nature Blog

Protecting wild species and wild spaces since 1931

Tag: Snapping turtle

Driven to endangerment or en route to recovery?

conservation_Final

The car is a marvellous machine. With a turn of the key and a tank full of gas, it offers freedom and convenience. In our ever-increasing desire to move from one place to another, we have constructed an impressive network of roads. This is especially true in southern Ontario, as James and Jacqueline point out in “Helping turtles not cross the road.” 

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Ode to Ontario Nature

Modelling Ontario Nature gear with coworker, Maggie Janik.

Modelling Ontario Nature gear with coworker, Maggie Janik.

Even though a grand adventure was on the horizon, I dreaded leaving Ontario Nature last month. On my last day, I was sappy one moment, numb the next.

Let me explain

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How to process a 45-pound snapping turtle in 10 (not so) easy steps

megan snapper resizedStep 1.  Scoop the turtle into your net.

Step 2. Lift the turtle into your canoe. Word of warning – this is easier said than done. Be prepared to need the strength of two people, and bend at the knees so you don’t put your back out.

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Rattlesnake country

Looking for rattlers on the Bruce by Peter Middleton

Looking for rattlers on the Bruce by Peter Middleton

Most people try to avoid encounters with venomous reptiles, but that wasn’t the case for the team of Ontario Nature staff that I accompanied to the Bruce Peninsula last week. These herpetologists and avid naturalists ventured fearlessly across tall-grass meadows, forest clearings and rocky beaches in search of Sistrurus catenatus, commonly known as the massasauga rattlesnake.

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On Lost Bay

John processing a stinkpot

John processing a stinkpot

When was the last time you were so moved by a place and an experience in nature that you took the time to write about it? When Catherine Jimenea, Ontario reptile and amphibian atlas assistant, signed-up for four days of turtling in Lost Bay Nature Reserve, her experience far surpassed her expectations. So much so, that she wrote this ode to the reserve.

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Province green lights hunting at-risk turtle

In complete disregard of a petition signed by more than 11,000 people and a report jointly released by Ontario Nature, the David Suzuki Foundation and the Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre, the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) told us that hunting snapping turtles can continue even though the animal is listed under the Endangered Species Act.

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Is it ok to move turtle eggs?

People often ask Ontario Nature staff for advice about how to deal with situations that they encounter in nature. Whether putting out a bird feeder, planting native flowers or grasses, or choosing not to cut down the trees on your property, people are on the front lines of local conservation efforts more often than you might realize.

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It’s not ok to hunt turtles

Question: How is it that the Ontario government can include snapping turtles on the provincial endangered species list while at the same time allowing, and even encouraging, the hunting of these long-lived reptiles?

Staff ecologist John Urquhart wondered this too, and put the issue to the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) last December. The response, which we received earlier this week, raises tough questions about MNR’s commitment to species protection.

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