Sunshine Coast residents are being asked to keep their eyes open for one of the most wonderful signs of spring: tiny baby turtles emerging from their underground nests.
The coastal population of Western painted turtle is federally threatened and provincially red-listed and faces many threats. For over a decade, the Sunshine Coast Wildlife Project has been working with the community to ensure the survival of this species at risk.
Painted turtles lay their eggs in June and the babies hatch in the fall but remain in their underground nest all winter and don’t leave their nests until the following spring. Baby turtles emerge from distinctive rectangular holes and each tiny hatchling is the size of a loonie.
Identifying nest sites and monitoring nest success is critical to conservation efforts to project the species. If you have seen a baby turtle or a nest emergence hole, please report your sighting by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 604-989-1007.
Turtle stewardship efforts on the Sunshine Coast are supported by the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, Gencon Foundation, and the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk. For more information visit www.facebook.com/coastwildlife or www.coastwildlife.ca
Thank you to project leader David Stiles for providing this project update.