Give the gift that keeps on giving by adopting a Misery Bay turtle

MANITOULIN—The Friends of Misery Bay (FOMB) have launched an adopt-a-turtle campaign just in time for Christmas.

For $100 Islanders can adopt a turtle, receiving in return a photo and information about the turtle they adopt. The FOMB will also be upping the ante by fundraising to match the funds raised through the adopt-a-turtle program.

“The FOMB is in a position to apply for funding through the Ministry of Natural Resources’ Species at Risk Stewardship Fund to support future monitoring and/or research of Misery Bay Provincial Park’s turtle population,” states a FOMB press release. “To this end, we have devised a matching funds fundraising campaign. Your adoption fee will help cover the inherent costs of monitoring.”

As The Expositor previously reported, “The idea came from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF),” explained FOMB vice chair Gaynor Orford. “Since learning of the troubled turtle population in the park, we (the board) thought it would be a good idea to raise funds through the adoption of turtles, similar to the WWF campaign.”

This spring/summer, MNR park ecologists discovered 50 dead adult turtles—10 painted turtles and 40 Blanding’s turtles—at Misery Bay Provincial Park during routine monitoring.

The cause of these deaths is still unknown, however Jacqueline Litzguz, a herpetologist (a researcher who studies amphibians and reptiles) with Laurentian University working on discovering the cause of the turtles deaths told The Expositor that she and her team have a few theories including predation and a virus that effects reptiles known as ranavirus.

Ms. Litzguz and her team will be conducting research throughout the winter with the hopes of determining the cause before spring.

Thinking about that hard to buy for person on your Christmas list? Consider adopting a Misery Bay turtle.

For more information contact the FOMB at info@miserybay.org or send a cheque or money order of $100 to Box 114, Gore Bay, Ontario, P0P 1H0.

Robin Burridge