Creek Time

Heart Lake Road Wildlife Monitoring

turtle
 Painted Turtle   
photo provided by V. D'Elia   

The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) is partnering with the City of Brampton, and the Ontario Road Ecology Group (OREG) at the Toronto Zoo to deliver the Heart Lake Rd. Road Ecology Monitoring Program (HLREMP).  Road Ecology is the study of the interactions between road systems and the surrounding natural environment.  Heart Lake Road, between Sandalwood Pkwy and Mayfield Road, runs through the middle of a wetland complex and over the years there have been numerous wildlife casualties but they have not been formally documented.  The HLREM will engage local volunteers in collecting data on the number of wildlife casualties along this road in order to better understand what potential role roads play in the decrease in biodiversity.  The data collected will support future actions to help reduce road side wildlife fatalities. 

The project was developed after six painted turtles were found dead on the side of the road within the period of one day in the spring of 2010.  The months of May and June are very active times for frogs, snakes and turtles as they move from their winter homes to nesting areas in active wetlands.  The fall also becomes a critical time for these animals as they move back to their overwintering sites. 

The monitoring program began on May 8th, 2011 and will run until October 31st, 2011.  Through the interest and support of local residents, the HLREM will depend almost entirely on volunteer commitments and the contributions from partners and sponsors.

If you are interested in volunteering for this project, contact Leo O'Brien at friendsofheartlake@rogers.com.  All interested volunteers are required to work in pairs and participate in a mandatory safety training session.  If you do not already have a partner in mind, the organizers will do their very best to connect you with another volunteer. 

 

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