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Blanding’s Turtle Halts Wind Farm in Canada

April 21, 2015



The Blanding’s turtle, (Emydoidea blandingii) an endangered North American species in much of its range, has put a wrench in an energy company’s plan to put nine wind turbines on Canada’s Ostrander Point. A lower court had initially ruled in favor of the project, but Ontario’s Court of Appeal reversed that ruling, which reinstate’s a key finding of Ontario’s Environmental Review Tribunal that the project would do irreparable harm to the turtle if the project were to proceed as planned. 


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Blanding's turtle

RAPHAEL CARTER/WIKIPEDIA

A wind turbine project has been halted until the power company finds an alternative solution that will protect the Blanding's turtle, an endangered species.

Initially, the project, by Canada’s Gilead Power with approval of the  Ontario Ministry of the Environment, called for access roads to be blocked off to public traffic via gates, but it is these very access roads that the Prince Edward County Field Naturalists say would cause harm to the turtles by virtue of them getting hit by vehicles driven by employees of the power company to service the turbines. 

The project to build the wind turbines is not dead, it just means that Gilead Power and the Ontario Ministry of the Environment will have to come up with a solution that protects the turtles and its habitat. 

The Prince Edward County Field Naturalists launched opposition to the wind tubbiness in 2007, claiming that the area in which the turbines would be stationed is rich in biodiversity and is an important area for migrating birds, bats and butterflies and is a breeding ground for a variety of birds, reptiles and amphibians. 

The Blanding's turtle is on the CITES list of protected species. It can grow up to nine inches in length and has a life span of more than 70 years in captivity and in the wild. It has a long neck and a yellow chin, traits of which they are known for.


John B. Virata keeps a western hognose snake, a ball python, two corn snakes, a king snake, and two leopard geckos. His first snake, a California kingsnake, was purchased at the Pet Place in Westminster, CA for $5. His first pet reptile was a green anole that arrived in a small box via mail order. Follow him on Twitter @johnvirata 

 

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