It's Turtle season and World Turtle Day!☀️🐢🌻
A few facts about turtles...
🐢 They have very long lifespans and usually reach sexual maturity around 8-20 years old
🐢 Turtle eggs and hatchlings are a major food source for many predators this time of year, meaning that the around 98% of hatchlings and juveniles will not make it to adulthood. This makes the adults that you see VERY important to the populations!
🐢 Sexually mature females will travel various distances depending on the species, from 100m or so up to 10km, in search of the perfect nesting spot.
That last point leads to many females having to cross roads or highways in search of the perfect egg laying site. This is where road mortality effects their numbers. Each and every turtle is especially important to the survival of that species, however it is the sexually mature females that are the most important. Because it takes so long to become sexually mature, and as we now know many hatchlings will not reach adulthood, the loss of these females could be detrimental.
Many of the turtles you will see driving along will be females in search of their nesting site. Please drive cautiously around roads surrounded by wetland and forest habitat, and if you do see a turtle crossing the road and it's safe to do so, pull over, exit the car and help the turtle cross the road in the direction they are already going. If you put the turtle back on the opposite side of the road it was travelling to, it will try to cross the road again.
Happy World Turtle Day!🐢💚 Every turtle matters!
Check out the Ontario Turtle Conservation Centre (@ontarioturtlecc) for more info on how you can help Ontarios turtles!
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