1. Watch for Them on Roads
Look out for turtles near natural areas, especially in valleys or near wetlands. Turtles are on the move from May to July and then September to October. They may nest at roadsides in June.
2. Never Relocated a Turtle
They have memorized their territories and cannot readily adjust to new areas. Moving them can result in their death.
3. Help Them Across
They move between habitats in their territory and should not be restricted to one site. If it is safe to do so, move them in the direction they are heading.
4. Don't Leave Them to Suffer
Turtles feel through their shells and can rebound from amazing injuries. If spotting an injured turtle, note the location, retrieve it, place in dry container and call 705-741-5000
5. Never By the Tail
Turtle's tails are part of their spine, and picking them up by the tail can lead to permanent spinal injuries, that may threaten their survival.
6. Never Feed a Turtle
Snapping turtles only snap on land in defense, and only in water when expecting food. Change locations often when fishing and never feed an injured turtle or hatchling.
7. Don't Take Them as Pets
It is illegal to have a native turtle as a pet in Ontario. Also, turtles imprint spatial memories of their territories when very young. They cannot easily "map and remember" essential areas when older.
8. Don't Release Sliders
Red Eared Sliders are sold in pet stores. They are an invasive species in Ontario that can outcompete our turtles and spread diseases too. Instead adopt them out.
9. Report Sightings and Issues
Sightings help us plan ecopassages and track populations. Take photos and record locations and send them to us or use the iNaturalist app. It is illegal to harm or take a turtle. Report these crimes to Crime Stoppers and keep us in the loop
10. Don't Fill or Drain Wetlands
Turtles use wetlands as hibernation and feeding sites, which they return to annually. The features and functions found at these sites cannot be duplicated easily. Destroying wetlands harms turtle populations and other species too.