Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

Conservation Challenges: Focus on Turtles

Press Release
Mississippi Valley Field Naturalists
March 12, 2008
Submitted by Pauline Donaldson

Conservation Challenges: Focus on Turtles

On Thursday, March 20, the Mississippi Valley Field Naturalist’s (MVFN) proudly present a lecture by David Seburn, author of Ontario’s recovery strategy for turtles and an ecological consultant who specializes in the conservation of reptiles and amphibians. The lecture entitled “Biology, Ecology and Conservation of Ontario’s Turtles” will be the 6th in MVFN’s series “Our Natural World: Conservation Challenges.”

Baby TurtleDavid Seburn is a member of the Ontario Multi-Species Turtles at Risk Recovery Team. Turtles are amongst the most endangered of all living things in Canada. According to Seburn about ¾ of Ontario’s turtles are on the species at risk list as either endangered or a species of special concern. Seburn has worked for the past 9 years on the conservation of the endangered Spotted Turtle in Eastern Ontario. This turtle is a small, slow growing turtle which does not always reproduce every year. It is in decline and now rare in many areas. It is sensitive to degradation of water quality in the marshes, beaver ponds, vernal pools and other wetlands where it is found. Spotted turtles are also susceptible due to popularity for the pet trade and habitat destruction.

The lecture on turtles by David Seburn, as with other lectures in MVFN’s series this year, will take a back-to-basics approach in focusing on a specific group of animals, in this case turtles. David will discuss the basics of turtle biology and provide a introduction to the identification, ecology and distribution of Ontario’s turtles including the northern map, the stinkpot, spiny softshell, wood turtle, spotted turtle, snapping turtle, Blandings, and Midland and western painted turtles, with a focus on those of concern locally.

David will then go on to explore why these animals are so vulnerable. What are the major threats facing turtles and what can we do to help conserve these beautiful and fascinating creatures?

David Seburn’s presentation will be March 20th at 7:30 pm at the Almonte United Church Social Hall, 106 Elgin St., Almonte. There is a fee of $5 for non-members over 16. Refreshments are provided. All are welcome. For more information, please contact MVFN’s President Mike McPhail at 613-256-7211 or see MVFN’s website at