What species has survived 40 million years despite being 'crappy parents' and taking more than 60 years to successfully produce one adult? According to a big two-page spread in the Toronto Star on Saturday, this prehistoric parental disaster is the snapping turtle.
The Star article and a slew of others today (like here and here) tell the story of the snappers and their current battle for survival in Ontario, where the glacially slow reproducers face a grim triple threat from hunting, traffic and the toxic chemicals that find their way into the province's remaining wetlands.
This spotlight on snappers is a result of investigative work by the David Suzuki Foundation and our keen colleagues in the conservation community that have come together to release a new report and a group called FROST that has gathered more than 10,000 hand written petitions from concerned Ontarians that will be presented to the politicos at Queen's Park tomorrow.
The hope is that all of this attention coaxes the province to put an end to the absurd policy that allows anyone with a valid fishing or hunting licence to "bag" up to two snappers a day — despite already being listed under Canada's federal endangered species law.
If you live in Ontario and are keen to help make sure the hunt comes to an end, we encourage you to pick up the phone and chat with your local MPP. If we make enough noise now, we can give this threatened species a fighting chance.