7 baby turtles were rescued from a McMaster Construction site on September 5th and released into Cootes Paradise.
This is part of an effort by the Royal Botanical Gardens to restore the diminishing population of snapping turtles in the Cootes Paradise marshes.
Over the past few weeks, the Royal Botanical Gardens have been hatching hundreds of snapping turtles in incubators and setting them free in the wetlands of Cootes Paradise.
Snapping turtles are found on the species at risk list, implying that their population is on the decline and at risk of disappearing all together.
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We released over a dozen snapping turtle hatchlings yesterday! These turtles’ eggs were recovered from a project worksite just south of the release location at the edge of McMaster University and have been incubating at RBG Centre. Snapping turtles are a species at risk, and their hatchlings face many obstacles to adulthood including environmental and urban challenges effecting their travel between the nest and the marshland upon hatching. Through partnerships with City of Hamilton and Hamilton Conservation Authority approximately one kilometer of Cootes Drive now has small animal/turtle fence barrier. This fence is successfully guiding small wildlife, including turtles, to roadway water underpasses as they go about annual migrations. #conservation #snappingturtle #turtle #cute #babyturtle #nature #wildlife #environmental #rbg #savetheturtles #turtles #myHamilton #Hamont #burlon #cootes #cootesparadise
The Royal Botanical Gardens have been actively working to support the population of snapping turtles for several years now. This incubation project is the most recent of several initiatives to protect the turtles.
In the past, the Royal Botanical Gardens have worked to protect their habitats, and guide them away from busy roads.
Snapping turtles often get a bad reputation as a vicious species, but they are actually quite docile. However, when they feel threatened and vulnerable, they are more likely to harm in response to threat. This is more common when they are on land, where they go to lay eggs.
Five adult turtles were recently rescued from the same McMaster work site, which could be crucial for the survival of this turtle population.
Although these baby turtles are important for the growth of the species, the adults could be even more crucial. Snapping turtles live a very long time, sometimes up to 70 years, but they also don’t begin to breed until they are 17-19 years old. It is very important to protect these adults, especially the females, as these are the ones that will keep the species going.
For a population that is so small, roughly 100-200 in Cootes Paradise, the work of the Royal Botanical Gardens could be massive for the survival of this ancient species of turtles.