Tag Archives: turtles

WETLANDS: A regulatory loophole you can drive a dump truck through

(PHOTO: Ken McRae says he believe some landowners on Flewellyn Road are dumping fill into wetlands to avoid Provincially Significant Wetland designation. Photo by Devyn Barrie.)

A local environmental activist believes some Goulbourn property owners are taking advantage of a regulatory loophole to destroy wetland on their property.

Ken McRae says he’s seen dump trucks delivering fill to a property on Flewellyn that he believes is being dumped into wetland. Continue reading


Petition opposes tree cutting from South March Highlands

(PHOTO: South March Highlights. Photo by Denise Deby.)

Trees are again being cut down in Ottawa’s South March Highlands. KNL is removing trees from 75-100 hectares of land in the Highlands, one of Ottawa’s most biodiverse areas, in preparation for construction. They’re required to take measures to mitigate against harming species at risk (including Blanding’s turtles, Least bitterns and butternut trees) and other wildlife. Continue reading


Following Poole Creek, Part 2

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Poole Creek may be Stittsville’s most important natural feature. It meanders from west to north east, crossing through neighbourhoods old and new, playing a crucial role in our community’s ecology. In the second part of this series, ecologist Nick Stow follows the creek as it heads east of Stittsville Main Street, entering a stretch that remains largely unsurveyed and uninventoried. All photos by Nick Stow.)

JUST EAST OF MAIN STREET, POOLE CREEK TURNS NORTH AND DISAPPEARS into a large remnant of Stittsville’s once extensive wetlands.  Almost inaccessible, the wetland remains largely unsurveyed and uninventoried.  However, I suspect that an bioinventory would likely reveal several species at risk, especially Blanding’s turtle, which is known from the Goulbourn Wetland Complex and several isolated observations elsewhere in the village. Continue reading


Blanding’s Turtle habitat to be affected by Potter’s Key development

(File photo: Blanding’s Turtle along Hazeldean Road.  Photo by Ken McRae.)

Minto is proposing several measures to protect Blanding’s Turtles at the new Potter’s Key development on Hazeldean Road. They’ve applied to Ontario’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) for permission to proceed with the development, which could impact the animals, classified as a Species at Risk in Ontario (SARO). Continue reading


Stitt Park snapping turtle is back!

Thanks to Karla Torres for the heads up about the return of the Stitt Park turtle, spotted by several people yesterday morning. The photo above is from Jean-Michel Bastien, via Facebook.

Could this be the same turtle who buried her eggs in the sand last summer? Torres and her family saw a turtle laying eggs, then helped build an enclosure to protect the nest.  A few weks later the community got involved to protect it after vandals destroyed the structure.  When the turtles hatched in September, neighbours helped move them to safety in nearby Poole Creek.  (Read more, plus cute baby turtle photos here…) Continue reading


COMMENT: Developer’s plan won’t benefit species at risk in Kanata Lakes

ABOVE: The Blanding’s Turtle is one of the species at risk in the Kanata Lakes North land.

After intensive negotiations with the provincial Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Kanata Lakes North Development Inc. (KNL) has applied for a permit to destroy up to 124 hectares of Blanding’s Turtle habitat, remove up to 120 Butternut trees and “kill, harm and harass” Least Bittern — all species designated as either endangered or threatened. Continue reading


PRESERVE, CONNECT, ENJOY: Meet the Friends of the Huntley Highlands

Preserve. Connect. Enjoy. These are the goals of the Friends of Huntley Highlands (FHH) for preserving the Carp Hills for the benefit of its natural history and those who love it.

The Carp Hills comprise nearly 4,000 hectares of environmentally significant forests, wetlands, and rock barren uplands in the rural northwest of the City of Ottawa. This largely undeveloped area supports a similar Canadian Shield ecosystem as those of Algonquin Park and Gatineau Park. Continue reading


Turtles hatch at Stitt Street Park!

Remember back in June when Karla Torres and her kids helped build an enclosure for a nest of snapping turtles?  Well, she sent us an update (and photos) on Saturday: “The baby turtles from Stitt Street Park hatched today! After 3 months more than 45 little Snapping Turtles hatched safe.”

Torres and her neighbours helped make sure the baby turtles made it to safety in nearby Poole Creek.

Turtles hatch at Stitt Street Park Turtles hatch at Stitt Street Park Turtles hatch at Stitt Street Park Turtles hatch at Stitt Street Park Turtles hatch at Stitt Street Park Turtles hatch at Stitt Street Park



It’s hatching season for snapping turtles

The Ottawa Valley of CPAWS (Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society) has issued an alert about baby snapping turtles:

“Snapping Turtle’ hatching season just started. If you will find tiny creatures on the roads or other places, which are far from water, help them survive rescuing to water. We found today morning 15 just hatched snapping turtles. Most part of them was on the road; few were found in the grass. We rescued turtles from the road, but let move independently those found in grass.”

There were quite a few reports of snapping turtles setting up nests in the sand at Stittsville parks back in June, so keep your eyes open for these little creatures.

Baby Snapping Turtle. Photo courtesy of CPAWS Ottawa Valley. Baby Snapping Turtle. Photo courtesy of CPAWS Ottawa Valley. Baby Snapping Turtle. Photo courtesy of CPAWS Ottawa Valley. Baby Snapping Turtle. Photo courtesy of CPAWS Ottawa Valley.


Vandals wreck turtle enclosure at local park

Vandals wrecked the turtle enclosure at Stitt Street Park today, but neighbours believe the eggs were left unharmed.

Earlier this month, Karla Torres and her family saw a snapping turtle laying her eggs in the sand.   They built a protective enclosure around the next and posted a sign in an effort to help the eggs survive until months later when they’ll hatch. Continue reading


Snapping turtle lays eggs at Stitt Street Park

Karla Torres and her family witnessed nature up close last week when they saw a snapping turtle laying her eggs in the sand at Stitt Street Park.

“Our kids were there and saw everything,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “It was an awesome experience! The mission now is to protect the eggs until they hatch, that will take around 9 to 18 weeks. We made a protection around the nest and a sign. Let’s spread the word and help those baby turtles survive!”

She’s contacted the Rideau Valley Wildlife Sanctuary to get advice on what can be done to help protect the eggs from predators, like birds, raccoons and skunks.

Another resident reported seeing a snapping turtle laying eggs along Sweetnam Drive the day before.

UPDATE: We’ve received reports today of snapping turtles crossing the road or laying eggs near Overland Drive in Jackson Trails; on Rosehill Drive near Huntmar in Fairwinds; and on Trailway Circle in Amberwood.

Snapping turtles are the largest freshwater turtle in Canada, and are common in Eastern Ontario. They’re often seen in areas near Poole Creek in Stittsville.   They usually dig nests in late May or June, and lay anywhere from 40 to 50 eggs.

Snapping turtles bury their eggs, usually in sand, but then leave them unprotected.  Protective netting is often used to help protect the nests, such as the one in Stitt Street Park.

According to OntarioNature.org, the snapping turtle is listed as 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.

Snapping turtle lays eggs at Stitt Street Park. Photo by Karla Torres.Snapping turtle lays eggs at Stitt Street Park. Photo by Karla Torres. Snapping turtle lays eggs at Stitt Street Park. Photo by Karla Torres.


Kanata North Environmental Studies information meeting on Wednesday night

(Meeting notice via Marianne Wilkinson, councillor for Kanata North.)

South March Highlands Blanding’s Turtle Conservation Needs Assessment and Shirley’s Brook and Watts Creek Stormwater Management Study – Phase 2

March 4, 2015
7 to 9 p.m.
All Saints High School
5115 Kanata Avenue

City staff will present information and answer questions in relation to two final reports on environmental studies in Kanata North.  These reports will provide information about the Blanding’s turtle population studies, existing drainage conditions in the Shirley’s Brook and Watts Creek subwatersheds and further studies required to support the stormwater management solution for the Kanata North Lands development phases 7, 8 and 9.

Residents can read the blandings turtle report on ottawa.ca.

View or Download a copy of the public meeting presentation:  March 4 2015 Presentation

Accessibility is an important consideration for the City of Ottawa. If you require special accommodation, please contact Nick Stow no later than March 2, 2015.  

For more information, contact:

South March Needs Assessment
Nick Stow, Planner
Planning and Growth Management
110 Laurier Avenue
Ottawa, ON  K1P 1J1
Tel: 613-580-2424 ext. 13000
e-mail: nick.stow@ottawa.ca

Shirley’s Brook and Watts Creek Study
Darlene Conway, P. Eng.
Senior Project Manager
Planning and Growth Management
110 Laurier Avenue
Ottawa ON  K1P 1J1
Tel: 613-580-2424 ext. 27611
e-mail: darlene.conway@ottawa.ca


Endangered snapping turtle back home after stint in Peterborough trauma hospital

Laula the turtle recently returned home to Poole Creek, the final chapter of a two-month rehabilitation for the endangered snapping turtle.

“It is extremely satisfying to see an animal return to the wild,” said Kerry Reimer, a Stittsville resident and volunteer with the Rideau Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. Continue reading