Tale of 1000 Turtles
In 2019 the eastern coast of Georgian Bay was selected as a “Community Nominated Priority Place” (CNPP). During 2020, Skerryvore Community Road was deemed a priority due to the extensive culvert replacement work needed and known reptile abundance. The Biosphere team worked with the Township of the Archipelago, Shawanaga First Nation, Tatham Engineering Limited, and Hall’s Construction to mitigate the project impacts and improve reptile safety post-construction. Strategies include using a cobble fill instead of sand near wetlands to discourage turtle nesting there, creating new nesting zones away from the road, and removing and incubating turtle eggs. Over 1,100 turtle eggs were collected and housed until after they hatched, each turtle was safely released to their original wetland. Another significant project component has been the incorporation of Indigenous traditional knowledge into both the project as a whole and daily work through semma offerings, ceremony, and storytelling during release events.
This initial project has been picked up and will continue through a MSc student from Laurentian University.
Threat Type: Habitat Loss, Road Mortality
Knowledge Gap: Threat Mitigation
Project focus: Education / Outreach
Project contact: Tianna Burke
Affiliated Institution or Company: Georgian Bay Biosphere
Project Status: Completed
Start Year: 2020
End Year: 2020
Nearest city or town: Parry Sound