Wood turtles are a medium-sized turtle that live in aquatic and terrestrial habitat near rivers and streams. There are only 2000-8000 wood turtles left in Nova Scotia and unfortunately, their populations are declining. For this reason, wood turtles are a Species At Risk (SAR) and are listed as ‘Threatened’ provincially and federally.
Wood turtles make use of farmland, especially hayfields because their natural habitat is similar in many ways. The pursuit of food like worms and berries can draw wood turtles into the fields. Wood turtles may also find sandy and gravelly areas that are good for nesting and laying their eggs. Unfortunately, farms can be dangerous for wood turtles; when hay is cut, mowers and tractor tires can kill and injure turtles. Nesting sites can also be disturbed by livestock or covered with crops which will result in unsuccessful nests.
Implementing Beneficial Management Practices (BMPs) can help reduce wood turtle mortality and ensure that they exist in Nova Scotia long into the future.
Incentives are available up to $15 000 per farm business to help you implement Beneficial Management Practices. We have tried our best to eliminate red tape and to get you paid faster — up front.