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Rare snapping turtle discovery prompts conservation push in St-Lazare

Click to play video: 'Snapping turtles find a home in Saint-Lazare' Snapping turtles find a home in Saint-Lazare
WATCH: A Saint-Lazare woman made a once-in-a-lifetime discovery by stumbling upon snapping turtles while out for a walk. As Global's Billy Shields reports, the protected species have attracted the interest of herpetologists and environmentalists from all over – Jul 25, 2018

In mid-June, Marie-Josée Perron was walking her dog, Tikka, when she came across a once in a lifetime find — a snapping turtle had ascended from the lake to lay her eggs on a park footpath.

“I was like ‘Wow!'” she told Global News. She called her hometown of St-Lazare, which sent an environmentalist to the site of the nest and cordoned it off so visitors wouldn’t disturb it.

READ MORE: Provincial government to provide $1.5 million a year for Quebec watershed organizations

 

“I figured I should protect the area, so that’s what I did,” she said. The find was also logged into a site called carapace.ca, which tracks turtle activity across Quebec. It has seen more than 2,000 entries in less than two years.

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While snappers aren’t threatened, herpetologists like David Rodrigue, the executive director of the Ecomuseum in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, worry increasing housing density could affect snapper populations.

“Most people probably don’t consider that they need protection,” he said. But, “turtles, for a number of reasons, have been heavily impacted by development.”

The nest is expected to hatch within two months.

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