In Ontario there are 8 species of turtles, all of which are at risk. The turtles that call Junction Creek home include the Blanding’s Turtle (Threatened status in Ontario, Endangered status in Canada), Midland Painted Turtle (Special Concern status in Canada), and Common Snapping Turtle (Species Concern status in Ontario and Canada).
Turtles play an important role in supporting a diverse and balanced ecosystem. They also have a strong significance in culture and traditional teachings. In some Indigenous stories the shell of the turtle is the foundation upon which the land was formed, ‘turtle island’, also known as North America. Gaining a better understanding about turtle habitat in the Junction Creek watershed is important for effectively targeting habitat recovery and mitigating conservation threats to local populations.
The Junction Creek Stewardship Committee (JCSC) is conducting a collaborative turtle project in the Junction Creek watershed with Laurentian University and McMaster University as part of a funded project that will be undertaken with the financial support of the Government of Canada provided through the federal Department of Environment and Climate Change.
The study will complement previous turtle research projects completed in 2019 and 2013-2014 and fill knowledge gaps to inform the restoration of distressed Blanding’s Turtle habitat while engaging community stewardship for the conservation of species at risk turtles. Results will be used for site-specific habitat restoration and conservation efforts for the improvement and management of critical habitat to meet recovery needs of Blanding’s Turtles in Greater Sudbury.
In addition to conducting turtle surveys, the JCSC team will also be providing free educational programs, informative sessions and outreach material about turtle identification, conservation, and community science programs. We welcome the opportunity for reciprocal knowledge sharing and collaboration with stakeholders and community partners. Please contact Miranda at info(at)junctioncreek.com.