Dundas Turtle Watch calls for new volunteers

Community Mar 11, 2019 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

Creating Provincial Recovery Plans for several turtle species which call Cootes Paradise home are key to protecting them, the head of natural lands at the Royal Botanical Gardens says. Meanwhile, local agencies and volunteers like the Dundas Turtle Watch are doing their best to protect and track local turtle populations.

As turtle watch puts out a call for new volunteers for its eleventh year, Tys Theijsmeijer notes Cootes Paradise turtles have had their ups and downs.

“We know there are less adults, as quite a few were run over on the roads. We hope there are some of the new young turtles appearing in the population,” Theijsmeijer said, adding a sewage spill in Chedoke Creek last summer made it unfriendly to turtles.

“That’s over and resolved and we have high hopes for the health of Cootes Paradise Marsh in 2019.”

Dundas Turtle Watch is recruiting new volunteers to monitor roads and off-road locations from May to October. Volunteers must commit to two hours a week. Teams of two work morning or afternoon shifts at the Hamilton Air Force Association on King Street East.

Turtle Watchers help turtles cross busy roads. If volunteers find an injured turtle they help get them to a trauma centre for care. In the spring, volunteers take on the important role of covering turtle nests to protect the eggs from predators like raccoons and foxes.

Volunteers collect data to track turtles, and other wildlife, killed on local roads. Tracking hot spots helps the group advocate for more protection. Mapping on roadkill sites identified by volunteers is coming.

As eggs hatch in the summer, volunteers help the tiny turtles move to safe locations nearby.

If you are at least 18 years old and want to volunteer, contact Dundas Turtle Watch at 905-627-8917 between 5 and 9 p.m. or email dundasturtlewatch08@gmail.com and visit dundasturtlewatch.wordpress.com for more information. Volunteers will be trained.

Local painted, snapping and northern map turtles are of special concern — or vulnerable to becoming threatened or endangered.

The Blanding’s turtle, found in Cootes Paradise in small numbers, has endangered status nationally — meaning it is at risk of extinction.

“None of the turtles lost on roads were Blanding's turtles, so that is a success,” Theijsmeijer said.

But of the three or four remaining Blanding's, one male and one female have not been spotted for two years.

A positive for turtle protection has been an increasing amount of roadside barriers along Cootes Drive, resulting in less turtles being run over there.

“The Spencer Creek bridge is working out remarkably well as a wildlife underpass,” Theijsmeijer said. “The remaining problem areas for turtles and roads is the Desjardins Canal crossing area at Olympic Drive.”

Finding suitable safe places for turtle nesting along Olympic Drive up to Westoby Ice Surface arena continues to be a problem.

 

Dundas Turtle Watch calls for new volunteers

Group enters 11th year helping and tracking local turtles

Community Mar 11, 2019 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

Creating Provincial Recovery Plans for several turtle species which call Cootes Paradise home are key to protecting them, the head of natural lands at the Royal Botanical Gardens says. Meanwhile, local agencies and volunteers like the Dundas Turtle Watch are doing their best to protect and track local turtle populations.

As turtle watch puts out a call for new volunteers for its eleventh year, Tys Theijsmeijer notes Cootes Paradise turtles have had their ups and downs.

“We know there are less adults, as quite a few were run over on the roads. We hope there are some of the new young turtles appearing in the population,” Theijsmeijer said, adding a sewage spill in Chedoke Creek last summer made it unfriendly to turtles.

“That’s over and resolved and we have high hopes for the health of Cootes Paradise Marsh in 2019.”

“None of the turtles lost on roads were Blanding's Turtles, so that is a success." — Tys Theijsmeijer

Dundas Turtle Watch is recruiting new volunteers to monitor roads and off-road locations from May to October. Volunteers must commit to two hours a week. Teams of two work morning or afternoon shifts at the Hamilton Air Force Association on King Street East.

Turtle Watchers help turtles cross busy roads. If volunteers find an injured turtle they help get them to a trauma centre for care. In the spring, volunteers take on the important role of covering turtle nests to protect the eggs from predators like raccoons and foxes.

Volunteers collect data to track turtles, and other wildlife, killed on local roads. Tracking hot spots helps the group advocate for more protection. Mapping on roadkill sites identified by volunteers is coming.

As eggs hatch in the summer, volunteers help the tiny turtles move to safe locations nearby.

If you are at least 18 years old and want to volunteer, contact Dundas Turtle Watch at 905-627-8917 between 5 and 9 p.m. or email dundasturtlewatch08@gmail.com and visit dundasturtlewatch.wordpress.com for more information. Volunteers will be trained.

Local painted, snapping and northern map turtles are of special concern — or vulnerable to becoming threatened or endangered.

The Blanding’s turtle, found in Cootes Paradise in small numbers, has endangered status nationally — meaning it is at risk of extinction.

“None of the turtles lost on roads were Blanding's turtles, so that is a success,” Theijsmeijer said.

But of the three or four remaining Blanding's, one male and one female have not been spotted for two years.

A positive for turtle protection has been an increasing amount of roadside barriers along Cootes Drive, resulting in less turtles being run over there.

“The Spencer Creek bridge is working out remarkably well as a wildlife underpass,” Theijsmeijer said. “The remaining problem areas for turtles and roads is the Desjardins Canal crossing area at Olympic Drive.”

Finding suitable safe places for turtle nesting along Olympic Drive up to Westoby Ice Surface arena continues to be a problem.

 

Dundas Turtle Watch calls for new volunteers

Group enters 11th year helping and tracking local turtles

Community Mar 11, 2019 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

Creating Provincial Recovery Plans for several turtle species which call Cootes Paradise home are key to protecting them, the head of natural lands at the Royal Botanical Gardens says. Meanwhile, local agencies and volunteers like the Dundas Turtle Watch are doing their best to protect and track local turtle populations.

As turtle watch puts out a call for new volunteers for its eleventh year, Tys Theijsmeijer notes Cootes Paradise turtles have had their ups and downs.

“We know there are less adults, as quite a few were run over on the roads. We hope there are some of the new young turtles appearing in the population,” Theijsmeijer said, adding a sewage spill in Chedoke Creek last summer made it unfriendly to turtles.

“That’s over and resolved and we have high hopes for the health of Cootes Paradise Marsh in 2019.”

“None of the turtles lost on roads were Blanding's Turtles, so that is a success." — Tys Theijsmeijer

Dundas Turtle Watch is recruiting new volunteers to monitor roads and off-road locations from May to October. Volunteers must commit to two hours a week. Teams of two work morning or afternoon shifts at the Hamilton Air Force Association on King Street East.

Turtle Watchers help turtles cross busy roads. If volunteers find an injured turtle they help get them to a trauma centre for care. In the spring, volunteers take on the important role of covering turtle nests to protect the eggs from predators like raccoons and foxes.

Volunteers collect data to track turtles, and other wildlife, killed on local roads. Tracking hot spots helps the group advocate for more protection. Mapping on roadkill sites identified by volunteers is coming.

As eggs hatch in the summer, volunteers help the tiny turtles move to safe locations nearby.

If you are at least 18 years old and want to volunteer, contact Dundas Turtle Watch at 905-627-8917 between 5 and 9 p.m. or email dundasturtlewatch08@gmail.com and visit dundasturtlewatch.wordpress.com for more information. Volunteers will be trained.

Local painted, snapping and northern map turtles are of special concern — or vulnerable to becoming threatened or endangered.

The Blanding’s turtle, found in Cootes Paradise in small numbers, has endangered status nationally — meaning it is at risk of extinction.

“None of the turtles lost on roads were Blanding's turtles, so that is a success,” Theijsmeijer said.

But of the three or four remaining Blanding's, one male and one female have not been spotted for two years.

A positive for turtle protection has been an increasing amount of roadside barriers along Cootes Drive, resulting in less turtles being run over there.

“The Spencer Creek bridge is working out remarkably well as a wildlife underpass,” Theijsmeijer said. “The remaining problem areas for turtles and roads is the Desjardins Canal crossing area at Olympic Drive.”

Finding suitable safe places for turtle nesting along Olympic Drive up to Westoby Ice Surface arena continues to be a problem.