Haliburton Highlands Land Trust has received a grant from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources Species at Risk Stewardship Fund. The grant is for a three year project evaluating the risk of road mortality for turtles on Haliburton roads.

The first stage will involve ten weeks of monitoring areas with the highest number of road mortalities. Mitigation efforts will be completed on sites identified where the greatest number of turtles are at risk. These efforts will include building drift fencing to guide turtles toward culverts under the road. Executive Director of Haliburton Highlands Land Trust, Larry O’Connor says this is the first project of its kind in Ontario and he hopes it will help create future road designs across the province.

O’Connor says they will need an army of volunteers to help with the monitoring stage. He says they are estimating about 1200 hours of volunteer time to keep accurate counts of turtles in the area. O’Connor says volunteers will go through three to four hours of training for how to monitor and move turtles properly. They hope to begin training in early May. Anyone interested in volunteering are asked to call the Haliburton Highlands Land Trust office at 705-457-3700.