Cottage Information

 

Turtles

Blanding’s Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii)

 

 

 

Medium-sized, long-lived (80+ years), freshwater turtles,

 

which are slightly smaller than a bike helmet when full

 

grown. They have a high-domed, dark gray shell with

 

yellow flecks, and a long, bright yellow throat.

 

Habitat: Shallow water marshes, bogs, ponds or swamps,

 

and coves of larger lakes, with soft muddy bottoms and

 

aquatic vegetation; bask on logs, stumps, or banks; most

 

commonly hibernate in bogs and are not readily

 

observed

 

Females nest on cobble beaches, roadsides, old woods

 

roads, gravel pits and even in gardens! Females do not lay eggs until around 20 years old, which

 

magnifies the impacts to the species when adults are lost due to human activity.

Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina)

 

 

 

The largest freshwater turtle in Canada.

 

Ontario’s most prehistoric-looking turtle species. Its long tail

 

has a series of triangular spikes along the top that are

 

reminiscent of those of a stegosaurus. The upper shell is tan

 

or olive to black in colour, has a coarsely serrated front edge

 

and three longitudinal ridges, and is often covered with algae.

 

The upper shell length in adulthood averages 25–47 cm (10–

 

19 in).

 

Habitat: Any freshwater environment, though it is most often

 

found in slow-moving water with a soft mud or sand bottom and abundant vegetation. May

 

inhabit surprisingly small wetlands, ponds and ditches. It hibernates in the mud or silt on the

 

bottom of lakes and rivers, usually not too far from the shore. Females do not begin to breed until

 

they are 17 to 19 years old. Lifespan in the wild is poorly known, but long-term mark-recapture

 

data from Algonquin Park in Ontario, Canada suggest a maximum age over 100 years.

 

How can you help:

 

- keep your eyes open for them on a road

 

- don't disturb or harass the turtles or nesting sites. Be respectful and observe from a distance.

 

- do not drain wetlands

- follow steps as outlined in General Wildlife Stewardship