Parks Canada – With the assistance of funding provided by the Parks Canada Species at Risk Program, the Trent-Severn Waterway is continuing to collect data for turtle “Species at Risk” inventory this summer. The project started in 2005 and involves a combination of field inventory and public outreach activities. Turtle Species at Risk targeted by the program are Northern Map, Common Musk, Blanding’s, Spotted, and Wood turtles. All the species are designated at risk under COSEWIC (Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada)
Ideal turtle habitat is rich in biodiversity. Biodiversity is a mixture of flora and fauna co-existing to make an ecosystem more functional and sustainable. A viable ecosystem such as a wetland, relies on these various components of vegetation, insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals to maintain a healthy ecological balance. If one or several of these components are removed from the ecosystem coupled with habitat loss and road predation the ecological integrity of the wetland is lost. Under these unfavourable conditions, species may become designated as threatened, at risk or even considered endangered.