Conservation

Scales Nature Park works to conserve wild reptiles and amphibians through a variety of initiatives. In part, this is achieved through ‘boots on the ground’ conservation work, often in collaboration with other organizations. Check out some of our projects below!

Saving Turtles at Risk Today (S.T.A.R.T.) Project

Summary

The S.T.A.R.T. Project is a turtle conservation project in partnership with the Georgian Bay Turtle Hospital, the Canadian Wildlife Federation, Laurentian University, and Trent University. The project aims to reduce anthropogenic threats to the six turtle species (Spotted, Blanding’s, Map, Musk, Snapping, Painted) found within Muskoka, portions of Parry Sound and the Lake Simcoe watershed, through reduction of:

  • road mortality

  • habitat loss

  • subsidized predation

  • collection

  • persecution

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Summary

Georgian Bay C.A.R.E.S. is a new snake conservation project focusing on endangered and threatened species in the Georgian Bay watershed, including the Massasauga Rattlesnake, Eastern Hog-nosed Snake, and Eastern Foxsnake.

 

Our goal is to conserve these species by mitigating threats, filling knowledge gaps, and engaging the community to help.

Specific goals include:

 

  • delineating the eastern boundary of Massasauga distribution

  • surveying previously occupied locations without recent observations (40+ years)

  • identifying critical microhabitats such as hibernation and gestation sites

Reports of sightings from the public are extremely helpful - if you see any of these species in central Ontario, please call or text our project hotline at 705-955-4284. Some reports may trigger a response team to be sent.

Georgian Bay Conservation Action, Research and Education about Snakes (C.A.R.E.S.) Project

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Highlands Habitat Project

Summary

The Highland Habitats Project spans a unique bioregion known as The Land Between- the southern edge of the Canadian shield from the Georgian Bay to the Frontenac Arch. This project aims to increase conservation efforts and protect habitat for over 50 species at risk including turtles, snakes, birds, wolves, and more. The many partners involved in this project collaborate with each other to secure the biodiversity elements and functions of the landscape by:

  • increasing protected habitat (securement and management)

  • preserving and improving important corridors between significant habitats

  • mitigating threats to species at risk 

  • engaging communities with citizen science and conservation action

Summary

The Pelee Island Salamander Project is a research partnership with Trent University focused on determining the distribution and abundance of endangered Small-mouthed Salamanders across the island. We have recently been able to confirm this species still remains on the island, however, population estimates and distribution remains unknown.

Pelee Island Salamander Project

Other Projects & Activities

Western Chorus

Frog Project

  • Assessing historic sites for current occupancy of Western Chorus Frogs

  • Determined the east side of Lake Simcoe has healthy populations, but populations seem largely absent on the west side of the lake 

  • Assessing ways to reconnect habitat patches

  • Participating in tissue sampling for regional genetic analysis with Queen's University