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.
“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.
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.