• Royal Register

RBG Biologists Work to Restore the Turtle Population

Muhammad Zaidi, Grade 10

Biologists at Royal Botanical Gardens are working hard to restore the endangered population of Midland Painted Turtles in their Burlington and Hamilton stations in Ontario. The Midland Painted Turtles is one of the species at risk (SAR), which means that it may not survive if adequate efforts are not taken to protect it.

The Midland painted Turtles who have recently hatched are making their way to Royal Botanical gardens on a long and treacherous journey. The baby Turtles were released near grindstone creek which is near Hamilton. Their destination from Grindstone Creek is for Royal Botanical Gardens. The Royal Botanical Gardens have five established gardens, with approximately 50 species at risk and over 2 400 species of plants.

Unfortunately, there are only around 6.5 million turtles in the wild which puts the entire species in an endangered state. It is very difficult to say how many Turtles there are, so this number is an estimate.

A biologist is someone that conducts research on life. They study everything about living creatures and their environment. Midland Painted Turtles are currently endangered and all Turtles are listed as special concern so that means Ontario’s only eight species of Turtles are at risk of disappearing from the province.

The Midland sea turtle are most commonly six inches and rarely exceed this length. However there have been numerous occasions where the turtles are seven or eight inches. Midland painted turtles have black shells with tints of orange on it. You must treat a turtle almost like you would treat a baby. Even though they live about 30 to 40 years, they are very fragile creatures.

They eat algae, fish, frogs and other vegetation. Midland Painted Turtles are endangered because they are massacred for their eggs, meat, skin and shell. Biologists say that they have been successful in protecting the turtles, preserving 59 nests in the Royal Botanical Gardens. Many of the nests were in perilous locations and they were transferred to a safer area. Biologists in the RBG believe that baby turtles face a lot of danger as they grow around in an unsafe environment filled with humans.

These efforts by RBG to save Midland Painted Turtles may seem minimal, but are important to keep our environments close to nature. Now we can hope for a species of the turtles to be safe and live a long happy life with no fears.

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