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Dave Bailey

Eastern Spiny Softshell Turtle on Endangered list

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The spiny softshell turtle has been put on the country's endangered species list, despite extensive efforts in places like London to keep the population growing.

 

The continuing decline of the turtle in both Ontario and Quebec is blamed primarily on the loss of natural nesting grounds, invasive plants and poaching.

 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/windsor/upper-thames-river-spiny-softshell-turtle-1.3618568

 

Apparently poaching is exacerbating the problem. Other than fish, the only other aquatic animals that may be harvested in Ontario are snapping turtles and bullfrogs, but only from July 15 to September 15, and only in certain Fisheries Management Zones. If you see anyone collecting anything else, no matter where or what time of year, they definitely ARE breaking the law by poaching. If you see such activity, you can call crime Stoppers 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or call the Ministry of Natural Resources Tips line at 1-877-TIPSMNR (847-7667)

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I was Park Naturalist at Long Point Provincial for a couple of years back in the mid seventies, even then I saw fewer of them than Blanding's or Spotted Turtles. While all the other species would come onto land from the marsh side of the point this time of year to lay their eggs, the Softshells made the lake side home and would return there after laying their eggs. I suspect while most turtles like to get out of the water on logs or such to bask in the sun the Softshells live their lives in the water.

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Growing up in London, I knew of a few places that had decent numbers of Soft Shell, Painted and of course Snapping Turtles.

The Soft shells are really neat critters and just as vicious as a snapper!

Thanks for the heads up...

HH

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I've seen my fair share of them in the Thames in London growing up, glad to hear they are still doing well there, but hope they make a recovery overall.....as a kid finding those pancake turtles or a green snake was like the holy grail of catching stuff lol

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