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
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–
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