On July 27, the Nova Scotia Nature Trust supporters and staff and conservation partners Mersey Tobeatic Research Institute and Parks Canada celebrated the permanent protection of a 27 hectare property on McGowan Lake, in Kempt, NS.
A 27 hectare property on McGowan Lake, and important Blanding's turtle habitat, was protected after a successful fundraising campaign.
Thanks to a successful public appeal launched in late November, the Nature Trust has succeeded in saving one of the best remaining refuges for Blanding’s turtles in the province. The property, encompassing 15 islands and a forested peninsula on McGowan Lake, in southwest Nova Scotia, includes five and a half kilometers of undeveloped shoreline and the ideal nesting habitat for Blanding’s Turtles.
“It was amazing to be part of the protection of the property. It’s truly heartwarming to know that so many people care so much about the future of this endangered species. Now, an important nesting area will remain wild for future generations of Blanding’s turtles and their hatchlings” said Conservation Manager Dennis Garrett.
The McGowan Lake turtle campaign set a fundraising record at the Nature Trust for having the largest number of individual people donate to one campaign. Over 300 individuals, young and old, from across Nova Scotia and beyond, donated to help ensure the turtle’s habitat was protected. Many chose to symbolically “adopt” a turtle for friends and loved ones, with over 150 people supporting the McGowan Lake turtles this way.
“It is great to know that the campaign has reached so many people all over Nova Scotia and we are so happy to be able to celebrate the protection of the property with them this Saturday” said Garrett
The Blanding’s turtle is one of the longest-lived and slowest maturing freshwater turtles in Canada. It is also a turtle in trouble. With a hatchling survival rate of less than 1 per cent, and expanding cottage development and roads in the areas where these turtles live, the endangered turtles are struggling to survive. Blanding’s turtles are listed on both the Canadian and Nova Scotian endangered species lists, and within Nova Scotia they are found only within one small area –with only approximately 350 adult turtles remaining.
The Sanctuary is part of a growing network of 58 Nature Trust conservation lands, protecting over 7300 acres of habitat for species at risk, critical freshwater habitats, coastal wilderness, and old-growth forests, as well as lands providing unique wilderness recreation, nature appreciation, education and research opportunities.
For more information call (902) 425-LAND, or visit www.nsnt.ca/savingturtles