Read the latest story from our staff in the field.
- I get by with a little help from my friends… May 23, 2013 turtles
The thing that is sometimes so difficult about species conservation is not that it takes time and lots of hard work, but that it can be so full of road-blocks. It can sometimes feel like one thing after another is going wrong. This is usually partly because that’s the nature of big projects – there are lots of learning curves, and success requires a constant effort to identify and work on areas that need improvement. But it’s also because the species targeted for conservation work need help are chosen because they are in trouble. Working with species at risk means that you have to face the things that threaten them head-on. Sometimes this can be difficult, both intellectually and emotionally. Sometimes it feels like no matter what you do, it won’t make a difference.
Maybe I’ll share some of those times with you in another blog post – but not today. Today is sunny and beautiful, the turtle project is running smoothly, I have an exciting new project to share with you in a few weeks (stay tuned!) and in honour of World Turtle Day I thought I’d share a few turtle-conservation-related things I’m currently happy about…
1) I have made it out of every muddy hole I’ve been stuck in this year so far. I know, you’re sick of hearing about mud… but it’s kind of on our minds this time of year!
2) The team and I have processed and released over 300 turtles in our mark-recapture surveys already, and we’re not done yet! It looks more and more as though we might break all our “project records” so far.
3) If you followed our blog last summer, you will remember that the 2012 turtle team rescued a badly injured Blanding’s turtle. The turtle was rehabilitated at Heaven’s Wildlife Rescue, and is currently at the Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre in Peterborough, undergoing a final veterinary check with Dr. Sue Carstairs (you can learn more about the KTTC and their work at www.kawarthaturtle.org). We will release her as soon as Dr. Sue gives her a clean bill of health, and we’ll be sure to let you know how it goes!
4) As in previous years, I have been extremely lucky to get some incredible new volunteers working on my project, as well as some familiar faces. Ashley Leifso and Christopher Law have already been back to help out, and we look forward to seeing them again over the summer. This year we also welcomed University of Guelph student Joe Renton, who has spent the last few weeks with us wrangling Snapping Turtles and learning all about Ontario reptiles. Joe just got a job with Ontario Parks, so we’re sad to see him go (and congratulations, Joe!). But he has promised to post a quick summary of his experiences on the project before we lose him for good, or at least for this year. We have several more volunteers arriving in the coming weeks, and as always, I am grateful for everyone’s hard work, good company, and dedication to turtle conservation.
And of course, this project would not be possible without the generous support of WPC’s donors, large and small. To all of you who help support our work – thank you, again and again!