Four Ways to Help Turtles in June

A cartoon with a chicken crossing the road to help a turtle get to the other side. The chicken explains how you can help a turtle across the road (in whatever direction the turtle was going) if it is safe to do so.
Cartoon by Kayla Martin, 2019.

June is a turtley amazing month! With the warm weather, long days, and start to spring, our turtle friends are on the move. Shellebrate the Biosphere by helping turtles!

Here are four easy ways that you can help them this summer. Remember to always wash or sanitize your hands after handling the animal. 

1) Brake for Turtles! One of the biggest threats to turtles is facing traffic while in search of habitat, food, a mate, or to lay eggs. What to do:

  • Always be aware of road traffic. Only attempt to help the turtle if it is safe to do so and you feel comfortable handling them.
  • DO NOT remove from the area you found them. Turtles rely on the ponds and wetlands that are familiar to them.
  • Move the turtle in the direction it was going or is facing.
  • If you are uncomfortable lifting a snapping turtle, use a car mat or shovel! Here’s a great video to show you how!

2) Found an injured turtle? Get it to the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre (OTCC) for medical attention! When you find an injured turtle call the OTCC at 705-741-5000.

It’s helpful during turtle season to have a turtle trauma kit in your car. This can be as simple as having a well-ventilated plastic container with a secure lid (turtles can climb). If you’d like a pre-assembled turtle trauma kit, email Tianna for one available by donation!

NEVER transport possibly injured turtles in water or offer food.

3) Have a turtle nesting on your property? Protect the eggs with a turtle nest protector! Purchase one through GBBR for $20 (supplies are limited) or you can make your own following these guidelines.

4) Record your sightings! Become a part of the GBBR iNaturalist project and record your turtle sightings wherever you go. This information will help inform conservation efforts throughout the Biosphere region!