Turtle Jack’s Muskoka Grill Partners to Help the Turtles
This #WorldTurtleDay, May 23, 2014, the Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF) is pleased to announce it will be working with the Scales Nature Park for the delivery of the Saving Turtles At Risk Today (START) Muskoka Turtle Project, an exciting turtle conservation program in the Muskoka region.
With support from the Canadian Wildlife Foundation and the Rogers Foundation, the START Muskoka Turtle Project will take place over a three year period. Project staff and volunteers will conduct scientific studies, in partnership with Laurentian University that will include radio tagging and tracking turtles and collecting physical data like weight, sex ratio and more during the field season. The project will also conduct surveys of nest sites and road mortality in order to develop a protection plan during nesting seasons. Another aspect of this project will be the rehabilitation of injured turtles and incubation of recovered eggs at the new Georgian Bay Turtle Hospital, another project partner.
“We’re thrilled with the expansion of our pilot project, and this great new partnership,” said Jeff Hathaway, founder of Scales Nature Park and coordinator of the START Muskoka Turtle Project. “In Muskoka, we still have a chance to slow or reverse the decline of turtle populations, which has been tremendous in other parts of Ontario, and around the world. What we learn here may also help in other areas.”
Turtle Jack’s Muskoka Grill has joined CWF and Scales Nature Park in their research and conservation of turtles in Muskoka. To help support the cause, Turtle Jack’s will be donating 10% of their Port Carling location proceeds on June 16th and July 21st. For the month of August, a special menu item will be added in support of the START Muskoka Turtle Project. Additional public and fundraising events will take place at Turtle Jack’s throughout the summer.
In addition, the START Muskoka Turtle Project staff will participate in presentations and displays about central Ontario’s turtles at a variety of venues in Muskoka. Presentations will feature live turtles from SCALES Nature Park and interpretive talks.
Freshwater turtles as a whole are in decline throughout Canada with varying degrees of endangerment. Threats to turtle populations include road mortality, subsidized predator populations, and habitat loss. The START Muskoka Turtle Project targets all six turtle species in the Muskoka region (painted, snapping, Blanding’s, map, musk, spotted), with a particular focus on Blanding’s turtles since this species is the most likely to be impacted by road mortality and human activities in the area.
“CWF is proud to be working with the Scales Nature Park on the START Muskoka Turtle Project that will directly support turtle conservation in the region,” says Wade Luzny, CWF CEO and Executive Vice-President. “The project is a powerful combination of doing in-the-field conservation research and at the same time providing valuable public education and outreach about the need to conserve our wildlife, like freshwater turtles."
The START Muskoka Turtle Project encourages everyone to help and make a difference. If you spot a turtle in distress, a nesting turtle, or a threatened (Blanding’s) or endangered (spotted) species, call or text the project team directly at 705-955-4284. If you wish to support the project, visit HelpTheTurtles.ca to learn more and to donate online. There are also opportunities for volunteers to get involved.
For more information about freshwater turtles, and to view the latest Hinterland Who’s Who (HWW) PSA on these amazing reptiles, please visit HWW.ca.
About the Canadian Wildlife Federation
The Canadian Wildlife Federation is dedicated to ensuring an appreciation of our natural world and a lasting legacy of healthy wildlife and habitat by informing and educating Canadians, advocating responsible human actions and representing wildlife on conservation issues. CWF is funded entirely by people who want Canada’s future to include healthy wildlife and natural areas, as well as the many environmental, economic, health and social benefits they provide. Visit CanadianWildlifeFederation.ca for more information.
About the Canadian Wildlife Foundation
The Canadian Wildlife Foundation is a national not-for-profit charitable foundation dedicated to supporting the work of the Canadian Wildlife Federation (CWF). Funds help deliver a wide variety of conservation programs, research, education, awareness campaigns and endangered species funding. To learn more, visit CanadianWildlifeFoundation.org.
About Scales Nature Park
Scales Nature Park is a conservation facility focused on Canadian reptiles and amphibians, featuring the most complete live collection of these creatures for use in hands-on educational programming. The park is located near Orillia, with outreach programs conducted across Ontario. To learn more, visit scalesnaturepark.ca.
For More Information, Contact:
Director of Communications
Canadian Wildlife Federation
613-599-9594 ext. 250
Canadian Wildlife Federation
Coordinator, START Muskoka Turtle Project
Scales Nature Park