On Thursday, August 23 there was a special event in the wetlands of Keddy Nature Sanctuary, a property protected by the Mississippi Madawaska Land Trust (MMLT) – seven newly-hatched Blanding’s turtles were released! These turtles came from a nest found along Blue Heron Road in the spring of 2023. The nest was in a precarious location so it was moved to be incubated in Ottawa by David Seburn, as part of a nest rescue program affiliated with the Canadian Wildlife Federation. Blanding’s turtles were already known to be present in the provincially significant Scotch Corners Wetland that includes the wetlands on both Keddy Nature Sanctuary and Blue Heron Wetlands. The stream running through the release area connects these two properties, so these turtles will have plenty of room to explore. It may take fifteen or twenty years until they mature to the age when they can reproduce. The fields and rock barrens on these MMLT protected properties will provide open sunny habitats where these turtles will be able to nest someday. Over time, one can hope that these released turtles will help build up Blanding’s turtle populations so they can recover and become more common again.
The nesting turtle was identified by Natasha Major in the spring of 2023, and she was the person who brought in the turtle nest rescue team. Three children from Blue Heron Road were present to help release the turtles. They were thrilled to participate in such a rare experience!
This event is a reminder that protected land, such as the properties owned by MMLT, can provide refuge for threatened and endangered species. Each property managed by MMLT has been explored for such rare species. The information is kept on file to ensure that the property is managed in a way that ensures the long-term survival of significant plants and animals. When you donate to MMLT to assist in protecting properties, you are giving the gift of life to the wild species that live on these lands.
To learn more about the ways in which you can support MMLT, please visit mmlt.ca/support-us.