Photo: Hunting for toxic turtle soup? Try Ontario.

(Credit: Joe Crowley)

By Jode Roberts, Communications

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.

February 21, 2012

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Feb 21, 2012
9:01 PM

Terrific work everyone !, I saw a pair of snappers mating, for the first time last Spring ,near High Park,Toronto, in a small pond (they were oblivious to/of me and would have been quite vulnerable). After 40 years of being a fan and frequent observer of Turtles, this was a first!!.. got several photos , they seemed to be about 12" in carapace length and looked almost identical…

Feb 21, 2012
2:00 PM

Hi there, I would like to thank you for the attention to the snapping turtles, and all Ontario turtles in general. I live in a rural community, and we have many rivers and ponds perfect for the turtles. Very upsetting, turtles are regularly run over as they cross the road, I can't believe the driver's don't see them, but there is an enormous amount of roadkill for every animal these days! But I have seen a growing number of people, mainly Asian, drive out here, up and down the side roads, and take turtles right off the road and throw them in their trunk! I know they will be making soup out of them that very night. Can something be done to prevent this?

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