The Ecomuseum zoo and a team of specialists to the rescue of the Wood Turtle!
Covering an area just under 3 acres, the Wood Turtle Nature Reserve, Saint-Lawrence Valley Natural History Society sector, is of a major importance to the survival of the Wood Turtle (Glyptemys insculpta) in the Mauricie region. Despite its small size, the nature reserve allows for the preservation in perpetuity the overall integrity of the natural characteristics of this unique nesting site. It also complements other Nature Reserves found in the area including those managed by the Mouvement Vert Mauricie and Nature Conservancy Canada.
How important is the site for the Wood Turtle?
An exhaustive study of this important population of Wood Turtles over a 15 years period has unfortunately shown its decline. If nothing is done, the population could disappear in the short term. The species, listed as vulnerable in Québec, and the greatest threats to it, are related to human activities such as fragmentation and alteration or destruction of its habitat. Among other things, the riverbanks that provide habitats for the Wood Turtles are coveted for residential and tourism development. Other threats are linked to pollution and excessive predation of eggs, juveniles and adults exerted by predators who have become superfluous due to human activity such as raccoons and skunks.
The Wood Turtle Nature Reserve is located at the center of the habitat of a large population of the species in the Mauricie region. It is used mainly to protect a nesting site used by a large majority of the females in this population, but also to protect a large section of the migration corridor used by the Wood Turtles. The wetlands present in the Wood Turtle Natural Reserve are also essential to the development of young turtles as they provide food and shelter to protect them from predators during their first years of life.
The natural characteristics of the site and its strategic position make this Nature Reserve a decisive factor for the conservation of the Wood Turtle population in the Mauricie region.