The Georgian Bay Turtle Hospital (GBTH) is a non-profit organization that will rehabilitate injured turtles, incubate recovered eggs, and conduct other activities related to the conservation of turtles, including public education, population monitoring, and research. Our primary focus is the Georgian Bay watershed region, though we will accept turtles from the entire Lake Huron watershed.
Conceptualized in 2007, the Georgian Bay Turtle Hospital was created to provide Ontario with a second designated centre specializing in turtle rehabilitation. Apart from expanding the province's capacity for turtle treatment, the GBTH also hopes to decrease the environmental impact caused by ferrying turtles across the province by providing a location closer to the Georgian Bay and Muskoka region; a turtle hot-spot. The GBTH contributes to the greater turtle conservation effort through several different channels:
Our main goal is to treat as many reptiles as possible to allow for them to be released back into the wild as healthy, contributing members of their species.
The GBTH supports ongoing turtle research in an attempt to monitor, better understand, and learn how to help Ontario's turtles. The main project supported by the GBTH is the Saving Turtles at Risk Today (START) Project, which focuses on turtle species in the Muskoka watershed.
To help counteract the declining numbers of turtles, the GBTH (as part of the START project) collects, hatches, and releases thousands of wild turtle eggs every year to prevent egg predation.
Why are turtles at risk?
7 out of 8 of Ontario's native turtle species are at risk! This is due to a multitude of challenges that they are facing:
Turtles pull into their shell when scared instead of running. This leads to collisions with cars, which are often fatal.
Over 70% of southern Ontario's wetlands have been lost. Without places to live, turtles cannot exist.
Turtles travel between different habitats throughout the year, Increased barriers between these locations can cause mortality.
Turtles are illegally poached for both food and the black market pet trade.
Cities increase the populations of medium-sized predators, such as raccoons, leading to an increase in turtle egg and juvenile turtle predation rates.
Climate Change causes changes in temperature and ecosystems which can disrupt turtles and increase the occurrence of certain diseases.
Pollution can directly impact a turtles health, poison their food sources, and cause habitat destruction.
Spread of Invasive Species
The spread of invasive species by human traffic across the landscape has introduced invasive species that take over turtle habitat.
Office Phone: (705) 327-2808 (general inquiries)
Turtle Hotline: (705)955-4284 (report a turtle)
Address: 82 Line 15 South
© Copyright Georgian Bay Turtle Hospital 2019