Meet Xavier and Daniel. Xavier is one of our Conservation Technicians at The Land Between Charity. He loves birds and birding and is a graduate of Fleming College in Lindsay. This was his first year working with turtles. Xavier spent the majority of the summer with a field team “running the roads” in search of turtles. The idea is to log where turtles are crossing (to understand and address areas in need of crossing signs or where underpasses could be installed- and of course to help them get across safely), to take measurements of turtles and DNA samples of the most threatened species (to understand the health of populations) and to look for nesting turtles near roads (to excavate nests that would be otherwise predated or where hatchlings would be at risk of mortality due to traffic) and then to excavate the nest and incubate the eggs for safe release later on. Of course all of this is done under a scientific wildlife permit.
Now meet Daniel. Daniel is one of three turtle hatchlings from a nest Xavier excavated- but this wasn’t just any nest- not only was this the first nest both Xavier and our team excavated this summer, and not only was this nest the first to hatch in our incubator, but this nest, when Xavier found it, was decimated by predators. The majority of the turtle eggs were strewn across the road and the remaining 8 that were found in a shallow depression were pretty damaged. Despite the small chance of survival, and where many technicians may have left them to rot, Xavier insisted that we give these eggs a chance. And here on August 8, six weeks from the day the eggs were found, the little turtle we named Daniel was hatched and released into the wild. Thank you Xavier- your hope paid out.
And our hope for both Xavier and Daniel (to quote Neil Young) is: Long may they run!
These efforts this summer under the Turtle Guardians program of The Land Between Charity, would not be possible without your donations and support, and funding from the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the Community Nominated Priority Places Project of Environment Canada and Climate Change.