Colourful Sunbathers: Petrie Island’s Turtles
We have a 9-minute slide show highlighting the turtles of Petrie Island. Please visit our slide show page.
Turtles at Petrie
Unique, even a bit strange, these reptiles hold a special fascination. They have skin like lizards, beaks instead of teeth, and their shell is actually formed by their ribs. They are also among the oldest reptiles, going back 200 million years to before the age of dinosaurs. They are true survivors.
Petrie island is home to the common Painted Turtle (Chrysemis picta), as well as Snapping Turtles (Chelydra serpentina) and Map Turtles (Graptemys geographica), both of the latter appearing on Ontario's Species at Risk list as "of special concern". One Musk Turtle (Sternotherus odoratus), a threatened species, was also found at the Island in 2008.
NOTE - There are dozens of nests in the sand along the various trails, in particular the Bill Holland Trail. They are chiefly nests of snapping turtles. Please be careful when walking.
For more info, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
And the Ontario conservation group Turtle SHELL – www.turtleshelltortue.org