Snapping turtles still targets

Guest post by Blair Eveleigh, senior associate editor

Maybe you were at our recent Spring Cottage Life Show and saw the exhibit in the Wildlife Centre by the Kawartha Turtle Trauma Centre. Or maybe you read my blog post a couple of months ago about the report released by that group and the David Suzuki Foundation about the plight of snapping turtles and the fight to get the Ontario government to stop allowing them to be hunted. Or maybe you’ve seen a snapping turtle or two around your cottage property and just think they’re cool and that we should look after them. If any of these situations applies to you, or if you just feel that any animal on our species at risk list deserves a bit of protection, then you’ll want to hear the latest news. The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources has decided to allow the hunt to continue, despite an 11,000-signature petition that was submitted, calling on the province to ban the hunt. The MNR has proposed one policy change, however. If you hunt a snapping turtle, and anyone with a valid fishing licence can kill up to two of them a day in season, you will have to report it to the authorities. This proposed change is open for comments from the public until May 10, 2012. The environmental group Ontario Nature is asking for people to tell the government to change its mind and enforce a ban on the hunt.