There are 4 species of land (freshwater) turtles in Nova Scotia, 3 of which are endangered and at risk of extinction. The best known are the common snapping turtle and the Blandings (or smiling) Turtle.
The Blandings Turtle ( emydoidea blandingii) can live up to 77 years. The fact that they aren’t able to breed until reaching sexual maturity at 15 years makes expansion of the species population very slow.
Their natural habitat is the bogey waterways by lakes and streams and they can be found in Kejimkujik National park, McGowan lake, Pleasant River and Bangs Falls areas. Unfortunately, these are also popular places for people to escape to. Unlike these native turtles, we like our watersides to be neat and tidy; no brush or swampy areas.
The Nature Trust of Nova Scotia is working with the Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute to educate people on how best to help the endangered Blandings Turtle to survive and flourish.
Learn how to recognize this species and report sightings (www.speciesatrisk.ca). Appreciate and observe but do not disturb. Get involved with monitoring and protection efforts.