UPDATE, JUNE 13: The turtle came back again on Tuesday morning around 5:30am. She dug a hole in the sand and buried her eggs. Neighbour Angela Steele helped build an enclosure to keep kids from accidentally digging up the nesting spot.
Thanks to Karla Torres for sending along these pics of a snapping turtle at Stitt Street Park. Turtles are a familiar sight at local parks at this time of year, particularly near Poole Creek. They typically dig their nests in late May and early June, laying anywhere from 40-50 eggs. (Remember Torres’ turtle photos from previous years?)
Snapping turtles are the largest freshwater turtle in Canada, and are common in Eastern Ontario. Snapping turtles bury their eggs, usually in sand, but then leave them unprotected. Protective netting is often used to help protect the nests.
According to OntarioNature.org, the snapping turtle is listed as a species of “Special Concern” both the Ontario Endangered Species Act and the federal Species at Risk Act. It’s also a Specially Protected Reptile under the Ontario Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act.