Thank you for reporting a nest to the team at Turtle Guardians!
Why Reporting Matters
As a charity, the support we receive from the public is vital to our mission to protect Ontario’s freshwater turtles, all 8 of whom are at risk of disappearing. In fact, last year the public reported 164 out of the 342 eggs we rescued from at risk nests. This resulted in the release of approximately 2,978 turtle hatchlings, who otherwise would likely not have made it, into the wild to help bolster populations. And because road mortality is one of the leading causes for turtles’ decline, the impact of reporting an at-risk nest makes a substantial difference and it also helps remove the threat of egg predation, a major threat to turtle nests. Thanks for being a turtle hero!
What Happens Next
As you saw, we carefully excavated the eggs you reported and packed them in a temporary container until we are able to transfer them to our Turtle Guardians headquarters. This happens at the end of every day in the field. From there, they will be processed by our incubation tech and transferred to a new container with a more moist, suitable bed of substrate and placed in our incubators, which maintain consistent humidity and temperature to best support their development. Over the next couple of months, baby turtles will develop inside the eggs and hatchlings will eventually emerge. Last year, we had a 96% incubation rate, which means that of the eggs we rescued that were viable, 96% successfully hatched!
Generally, this is how long it takes for each species of turtle to hatch:
Scheduling Your Release
Once hatchlings emerge, we are required to release them within 7-10 days. We will make several attempts to call the phone number we have for you on file. If we are unable to reach you, we will need to move forward with the release given the timeline above, in which case we will find the nearest available body of water to where the nest was reported to release the hatchlings.
If possible, we appreciate nest reporters refraining from calling for updates, as the summer is a very busy season for our team and we are on the roads for turtle conservation work season-round, even when the nesting season is over. The best place for you to check in on the status of the nests rescued is this web page! Please note that not all nests hatch at the same time, so even if you know someone whose reported a nest and the hatchlings have already been released on their property, rest assured that if you have not received a phone call, your nest is not ready yet!
More Ways to Get Involved
We are a project of national registered charity, The Land Between. All of our work is made possible through the generous support of donors and other funders. Every dollar helps us save turtles right here in cottage country and all donations are tax receipted!
We rely on volunteers to help us move turtles off of roads in high mortality zones, babysit at risk nests before our team can arrive to excavate, transfer injured turtles to emergency care, and more. Volunteers receive all the training they need and can work independently, contributing as much or as little time as they can.
We have a turtley cool online store that sells turtle themed products for kids, teens, and adults. All purchases are tax free due to our charitable status and every purchase helps support our turtle conservation work!
Keep in touch!
Stay in touch year-round with Turtle Guardians by signing up for our once-monthly e-newsletter. Hitting your inbox at the end of each month, our Snapshots newsletter is packed with Turtle Guardians updates and events, a story from one of our staff members, as well as a turtle read you’re sure to love! Sign-up below!
Also be sure to follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Tiktok: @turtleguardians