With the hatchling survival rate being less than one percent, Kelly Wallace with the Think Turtle Conservation Initiative says we need to do our part to help them.
She says you should expect to see them popping up in September and October. That gives them enough time to get acclimated to their new habitat before the winter hits. “Once the cold sets in they will start to head towards the bottom of whatever body of water they are in,” Wallace says.
“They face so many predators just going from the nest to the intended body of water, and when they get to the body of water there’s a whole new set of predators,” she says. By “intercepting them” and taking them in the direction they were heading or to the nearest body of water, you’re drastically helping their chances of survival, Wallace says.
“They show up everywhere,” she says. One year, Wallace says she found hatchlings in the parking lot of the Canadian Tire in Bancroft. “They are so small and easy to miss them,” she adds.
It’s important to note that you shouldn’t simply put them in the water and be done with them. Wallace says hatchlings need to be put in a shallow area with lots of cover so they can hide.
Wallace says over the next couple of months, the older turtles will be heading towards their winter hideaways as well so be on the lookout for them as well.
“It’s one of the most wonderful experiences to see and it will stay with you forever,” Wallace says about helping turtles, both young and old. “It helps probably more than we even know.”