Someone in the last very few days removed a “Turtle Crossing” sign near the Damascus Reservoir on Sideroad 13.
These signs were installed at considerable cost and effort after a number of turtles were killed in the area by vehicles in the 2011 season and prior. The signs were not an initiative by the municipality, but by residents, in conjunction with GRCA Luther Marsh personnel and the Toronto Zoo in an attempt to raise awareness and reduce the turtle mortality in the area.
Snapping turtles are a protected species. Their habitat includes the Damascus reservoir and its attached wetlands. The turtles leave the water and traveling at great peril to lay their eggs in nearby gravel areas.
Since they don’t usually venture out at night, but on warm sunny days to lay their eggs, their slow speed versus the speed of a truck or car leads one to presume the fatalities are intentional. Removal of the signs would lead one to also presume that the removal of the signs were by persons who have little respect for our environment and its wildlife.
Our municipality only agreed to allow the erection of these signs if the proponents, family, friends and the GRCA, agreed to install and maintain the signs. The cost and effort to install them was significant and the missing sign must now be replaced.
Possibly the person, or persons who removed the sign didn’t recognize the significance of their actions, only to hang the sign in their room. The return of the sign in a safe condition would be greatly appreciated.
Peter Follett, C.E.T.
RR # 2