Wildlife in Danger on Causeway
Drivers cautioned when crossing the Long Point Causeway
The Long Point World Biosphere Reserve Foundation (LPWBRF) is asking residents, cottagers and visitors driving to Long Point to slow down and be extra watchful for wildlife on the causeway leading to the beachfront community.
This year’s extremely high lake levels, combined with storm surges, have severely damaged sections of the barrier fencing intended to keep wildlife from wandering across the road. That means drivers could encounter turtles, snakes, frogs and other animals on the roadway – a rare sight since the six kilometres of fencing and 12 wildlife culverts were installed over the past 10 years.
“The cool spring weather has somewhat delayed wildlife movement, including female turtles searching for nesting sites. But as the weather warms, animals will start moving en masse to their preferred summer locations,” said LPWBRF President Rick Levick.
Levick noted that drivers crossing the Causeway have already seen the unusual sight of dozens of muskrats wandering along the shoulders of the road – evidence of the disruption caused by high water levels in the marshes on either side of the road. Several muskrats have been killed by vehicles in the past few weeks
Norfolk County and the LPWBRF have again set up an electronic message sign at the north end of the Causeway to remind drivers to watch for wildlife on the road. The LPWBRF will begin making repairs to the fencing over the next couple of weeks.
“We’ve struggled to keep the fencing in good repair since the last two culverts were installed in 2017 but there’s a limit to what a volunteer organization can manage and afford,” said Levick. “That’s why we are very pleased that Norfolk County has committed to maintaining the culverts and fencing after the Causeway road reconstruction is completed in 2020-21”.
Levick urged drivers who encounter wildlife on the road to be patient and wait for them to cross. Slow moving animals like turtles can also be carried across the road in the direction they are heading, but only when it is safe to do so.
Long Point Biosphere Director John Everett scoops up a large snapping turtle to carry it to safety across the Causeway. Snapping turtles should be handled with care,,,,, as their name suggests,,,,
In related news,,,,
Due to predicted rainstorms, the workshop on building turtle nest protection boxes at the Long Point Provincial Park, scheduled for Saturday, May 25 will now be held on Sunday, May 26 at 9 am. Anyone wishing to participate should go to the Park Office to obtain a temporary pass to enter the day use area where the workshop will be held.
Turtle nest protection boxes will again be available for loan this year and may be picked up at the Park Office.
The Long Point World Biosphere Reserve Foundation promotes research, monitoring, community outreach and education, partnerships, and projects that support the goals of biodiversity, conservation and sustainable communities in Norfolk County. We exchange information and work collaboratively with the Canadian Biosphere Reserves Association, as well as other biosphere reserves in Canada and around the world.
For more information. please contact Rick Levick at firstname.lastname@example.org or 416-723-2910