Turtles in south-central Ontario are in peak nesting season in the first two weeks of June. This is when female turtles will be crossing roads, and often nesting on road shoulders. Turtles take years to mature, and it takes many more years (up to 60 years) to have one successful hatchling reach adulthood to replace itself in the population. This is because of very high nest predation rates, especially in exurban areas that have attracted more raccoons and predators than would be found in the wild, and also because of the sensitivity of eggs to temperatures. Also, hatchlings face many threats.
If you live in an exurban area/rural area but near towns and settlements, and a turtle as laid eggs on your property, you can build a nest cage protector and save the nest from predators.
Nest cages should only be put on PRIVATE properties. If put on public roadways and someone trips over your cage, or the eggs are poached, the liability is transferred to you.
For help along roadways and driveways or inconvenient locations:
- We have Nest Sitters who can help guard the nesting mother,
- In certain counties we have permits where we can excavate and incubate the eggs and return them to the place they were laid.
- In other areas we have permits for nest protectors along roads and can arrange to have these installed
- In some situations we can also work with the municipal road crews to create alternative solutions (nesting mounds, signage, and mitigation options).