February’s Awesome Ottawa award goes to Malcom Fenech, to support turtle conservation at Petrie Island.
“Petrie Island is a significant wetland located in the City of Ottawa,” explains Malcom, “ and home to five of eight turtle species found in Ontario – all of which are species at risk. These turtles face many threats such as habitat loss, nest predation, road mortality, pollution, and climate change.”
A community project associated with the Friends of Petrie Island, the Petrie Island Turtle Project is now in its third year. This year, the project plans on protecting eggs, identifying important habitats, assessing population size, increasing public awareness of turtle conservation, and more.
“The funds from Awesome Ottawa will be used to help purchase an incubator to effectively protect turtle eggs,” Malcom continues, “as 95% of turtle eggs at Petrie Island are eaten by predators. The funds will also be used to purchase transmitters that will allow us to track turtles and identify the habitats they use.”
Malcom is a turtle biologist. This will be his third year studying and conserving turtles at Petrie Island, where he conducted his master’s thesis.
Funded by Ottawa (February 2023)