Update: Western Painted Turtles released near Abbotsford
In early September, our FWCP Coastal Region Manager, Julie Fournier, was present to see the BC Conservation Foundation and Wildlife Preservation Canada release 19 Western Painted Turtles in Silvermere. The one-to-two-year-old turtles are not captive-bred turtles, but instead “head-started,” meaning the eggs were collected from the wild and the hatchlings raised in captivity, to increase survival rates. A total of 81 turtles have been released this year in various Lower Mainland locations.
Western Painted Turtle recovery in Lower Mainland watersheds
This project will support B.C.’s only remaining native freshwater turtle – the endangered and Red-listed Pacific Coast population of Western Painted Turtles. There are only 18 known sites where this turtle exists in the Lower Fraser Valley. Ten turtle sites are in the Coquitlam, Alouette, and Stave watersheds. This project’s goal is to recover these populations by releasing head-started turtles, monitoring recruitment, and providing and monitoring effectiveness of habitat for basking and nesting. Western Painted Turtles may be found in most types of standing water at low elevations, but also require upland terrestrial habitat for nesting and dispersal.