A Big Shout Out!

We were amazed at the outpouring of community and volunteer support for our recent efforts in monitoring for turtles at select sites around Haliburton County! During the months of May and June, the Haliburton Highlands Land Trust had volunteers monitoring turtle activity at up to eight different sites on roads across the county. This was the first part of a comprehensive study on Turtle Road Mortality funded by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources Species at Risk proOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAgram.

The collective effort by 136 volunteers covered nearly 2,800 hours of observation, seven days a week throughout May and June. This incredible effort must make this one of the larger citizen science based research projects in recent history in Ontario, especially when considered within the context of intense effort over a very short period of time. While the committee is meeting to prepare for the next phase of this three year project, we want to pause to thank the volunteers involved to date. This group of extraordinary people came from all age groups and all walks of life. They stepped up and committed to offer their time in all weather conditions, and throughout the height of spring bug season. An amazing level of commitment from an amazing community!

Our monitors have witnessed more wild life in two months than many Canadians will see in a lifetime. This project has informed Haliburton residents of the challenges that these Species at Risk face on our roads. It is no longer socially acceptable to drive over a turtle for sport or fun. More and more people are stopping to help turtles cross busy roadways, even those who have never handled a turtle in their lives. Everyone seems to have a turtle story to tell, either a rescue, a near miss, or sightings of turtles nesting, basking, hatching, or just passing through. The Land Trust would love to hear yours!


While we are on the subject of gratitude, we would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who made this project possible; the Ministry of Natural Resources who funded it, the property owners and residents who allowed us to store equipment in their yards and driveways and sheds, the local media who covered our efforts, the many residents and visitors who stopped to show their support to our hardworking volunteers, and the community who has collectively become more aware of this vulnerable group of species in our midst!


For more information on this project, see:  Turtle Road Mortality Project


project partners:

The Haliburton Highlands Land Trust, Glenside Ecological Services, Ltd, U-Links Centre for Community Based Research


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