Warm temperatures have brought our turtle friends out of their winter dormancy to bask on logs and forage along shorelines. Soon they will begin moving across local roads in search of nesting sites and summer habitats. Many amphibian and non-venomous snake species will also be on the move and seen on our roads.
That’s why the Road Ecology Working Group — part of Environment and Climate Change Canada’s Priority Place conservation initiative — is launching some new initiatives this spring to help protect turtles and snakes from being accidentally hit by cars and trucks. Norfolk County’s Long Point Walsingham Forest was selected as a Priority Place because it is rich in biodiversity and has a caring community that wants to protect this vital treasure.
In partnership with Norfolk County and landowners, the Road Ecology Group will be installing new wildlife awareness signage along sections of local roads where high levels of turtle and snake vehicle collisions have been recorded. The signs will reduce vehicle collisions with wildlife by alerting drivers to watch for these animals on the road, especially in the spring and fall months.
The Group is gearing up to form a local network of volunteers who will record turtles and snake movements on roads and help protect them. Anyone interested in joining this effort should follow this link: wildlifeonroads.com
Protecting biodiversity is important. The reptiles of Norfolk County help to keep our local shoreline, marsh and upland ecosystems healthy by cleaning up wetlands, spreading native seeds, controlling pest populations and sustaining the food web.