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Invasive and native turtles share Cranberry Lake logs in qathet

More painted turtles were introduced to the lake last summer
INVASIVE SPECIES: Powell River Wildlife group member and photographer Jody Coomber Turner took this photo at Cranberry Lake today of a group of red-eared sliders, which are considered to be an invasive species.

An avid photographer and member of the online group Powell River Wildlife, Jody Coomber Turner took this photo today, Friday, March 15, of a group of turtles called red-eared sliders sunning themselves on a log at Cranberry Lake.

The temperature rose to 15 degrees today, creating just the right temperature for turtles to come out into the open. Turner said she has seen more than 25 of both the native painted turtle and red-eared sliders sitting together on a log.

"Last summer someone was here trapping them to see how many were native," said Turner. "She was the one who told me they reintroduced more of the native species to the lake."

The Peak reported earlier this month that biologists with the organization Coastal Painted Turtle Project (CPTP) had been working on BC's coast, including the qathet region, restoring endangered painted turtle habitat. According to "Red-eared sliders get their name from the distinctive red mark around their ear. The slider part of their name comes from their ability to slide off rocks and logs and into the water quickly."

Both species of turtles look similar and co-occur together in habitats such as Cranberry Lake. The main difference is that the red-eared slider has a dome-shaped shell.

In a February 29 media release, Lafarge Canada announced a $100,000 in-kind donation over five years to environmental conservation for British Columbia’s Coastal Painted Turtle Project.

"In British Columbia's ecosystems, western painted turtles serve as vital indicators of environmental health and actively contribute to habitat balance," the release stated.

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