Volunteers helping Parks Canada protect turtles in Northern Bruce Peninsula!
April 26, 2019 Tobermory, Ontario Parks Canada Agency
Last year, over 230 turtle hatchlings emerged from protective nest boxes and safely made their way to wetland habitats in Bruce Peninsula National Park. These nest boxes were installed by the Turtle Trackers, a group of citizen-science volunteers committed to the protection of at-risk turtle populations. The Turtle Trackers completed more than 500 hours of turtle monitoring and data collection in 2018, protecting 20 turtle nests in total and helping to preserve the ecological integrity of Bruce Peninsula National Park.
Parks Canada is pleased to be bringing back the Turtle Trackers program again this year, with volunteers working from May to September. The core component of the program empowers volunteers to identify nesting turtles and then install protective nest boxes over laid eggs. The boxes protect turtle eggs from being dug up and eaten by raccoons and other predators. This allows the eggs to mature and hatch, after which volunteers release the hatchlings to a safe habitat.
Building on the success of last year’s call for Turtle Tracker volunteers, Parks Canada is creating a turtle nest box loan program for property owners in the Tobermory area. Property owners will be provided with a nest box and all necessary information to ensure that the turtle eggs are protected throughout their development. It is illegal to handle or remove turtle eggs from any natural area without the required permits.
We invite all members of the community to join us at the Parks Canada Visitor Centre on Sunday, May 12, 2019 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. for a free nest box building workshop. Bring friends and family to this hands-on activity to learn how to construct and install a nest box. You even get to take one home with you! Email: [email protected] to reserve your spot in the workshop.
In managing national parks, Parks Canada maintains or restores ecological integrity, and provides Canadians with opportunities to discover and enjoy them. Through its Conservation and Restoration Program, Parks Canada takes actions to preserve national parks and contribute to the recovery of species at risk. Canada’s two national parks in the Bruce Peninsula are home to over 30 species at risk, including many of global conservation concern. This year and beyond, we welcome and encourage all Canadians to get involved by supporting local conservation efforts and being part of nurturing the stewards of tomorrow.
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