Letter: Thank you to motorists who are being turtle conscious

I’m an amateur herpetologist with a special interest in turtles.

In total, seven of Ontario’s eight species of turtles are classified as species at risk by both the federal and provincial governments.

As you’ve probably heard, there’s a house crisis.

Turtles are suffering from the same problem.

Approx. 70 per cent of the wetlands in Southern Ontario have been bulldozed in the interest of so-called economic prosperity.

Turtles have been around for millions of years.

Some species may become extirpated or extinct on our watch.

In my opinion, this is a disgrace.

If we stubbornly refuse to live and let live, some level of government may choose to step in and force compliance with punitive fines.

As an environmental review tribunal once stated, we don’t know the consequences of driving a species of turtles to extinction so perhaps we should err on the side of caution.

I live on Loyalist Parkway between Wellington and Bloomfield.

This road parallels West Lake at this location.

For this reason, I get to witness the annual battle of wits between the turtles and the drivers who are obviously late for a very important date.

Female turtles are looking for a suitable place to lay eggs (just for the record, the survival rate of the eggs is less than 1 per cent).

Loyalist Parkway is probably no more or less dangerous than any other Ontario highway with a high and largely unenforced, speed limit.

It’s a given that some turtles won’t make it to the other side of the road.

Finding a busted and broken turtle with her eggs scattered all over the road is, at the very least, an absolutely heartbreaking experience especially if the turtle is still clinging to life.

This year, I’ve been surprised by the number of people who have stopped to help a turtle cross the road.

This can be dangerous because the driver sometimes has to stop, make a u-turn and backtrack to the turtle.

Kind of restores one’s faith in humanity.

Thanks to those who actually care.

– Dave Nixon,

Bloomfield, ON