Nova Scotia's wood turtle needs your help. Much of its habitat has been disturbed by agriculture and forestry. Potential nesting sites are being ruined by the trampling hooves of livestock as well as projects to stabilize meandering stream banks. Wood turtles are easy to catch. They bask along riverbanks and are often collected as pets or curiosities.
This long-lived species probably doesn't reproduce until about 15 years of age, so the loss of just a few adults can have a drastic effect on numbers.
A campaign is under way to educate the public about the wood turtle. Here are some tips on how you can help too:
• Find out all you can about this reptile and learn to identify it easily.
• Inform your friends, family, and community about the species' plight.
• Never take a turtle home or remove it from where you find it.
• If you see a wood turtle, take note of the location and date, then contact your provincial wildlife agency. Sightings from the public will help wildlife managers keep track of the species' movements and range.
• For more information about the wood turtle, contact Turtle Watch, c/o Centre for Wildlife and Conservation Biology, Acadia University, Wolfville, N.S., B0P 1X0.