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As you may remember, I asked you last month if you would join me, and thousands of other Ontarians, in calling on the provincial government to ban the hunt of Ontario’s snapping turtles. Hundreds of you responded by sending the Minister of Natural Resources (MNR) an email letting him know that our turtles are at risk of disappearing from Ontario and should not be hunted.
I deeply regret to tell you that the Minister of Natural Resources, Michael Gravelle, did not listen to us. His ministry also ignored a petition signed by more than 11,000 people asking that the hunt be stopped.
Ontario Nature, the David Suzuki Foundation and the Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre released a report, The Road to Extinction: A call to end the snapping turtle hunt, documenting the plight of Ontario’s imperilled snapping turtles and also revealing that many snapping turtles have concentrations of PCBs that are unsafe for human consumption.
MNR has disregarded this report.
Snapping turtles are listed on the federal and provincial endangered species list. Yet Ontario permits the legal hunting of up to two snapping turtles a day.
Instead of ending the hunt, MNR has recommended that reporting the number of turtles killed per hunter be mandatory (the recommendation is now posted on the Environmental Bill of Rights Registry).
This is not good enough. In all likelihood, MNR cannot enforce this directive. Besides, mandatory reporting of hunted animals yields notoriously inaccurate data.
Please click this link to the EBR posting and ask MNR to do the right thing and ban the snapping turtle hunt or impose a moratorium until MNR has accurate estimates of population trends on which to base an informed decision.
Thank you so much for sticking with this campaign to protect snapping turtles in Ontario,
Conservation Science Manager
To read more about the opposition to hunting snapping turtles, click here