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!


The START 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 of 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

Saving Turtles at Risk Today (START) Project



Georgian Bay C.A.R.E.S. is a new snake conservation project launched by Scales Nature Park. It focuses on endangered and threatened species in the Georgian Bay watershed, including the Massasauga rattlesnake, Eastern Hog-nosed snake, and Eastern Foxsnake. The overall 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), and identifying critical microhabitats such as hibernation and gestation sites. Reports of sightings from the public are extremely helpful, and can be made by calling or texting our project hotline, 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



The Highland Habitats Project spans a unique bioregion known as The Land Between- the southern edge of the Canadian shield from 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, wolf, and other taxa. 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

Highlands Habitat Project


This Small-mouth Salamander project is a research partnership with Trent University of Pelee Island. The goal of the project is to determine the distribution and abundance of this endangered species 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

Western Chorus

Frog Project

  • Assesses historic sites for current occupancy

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

  • Assesses ways to reconnect habitat patches

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

Other Projects & Activities