Together, we are Ontario's voice for nature.

As the citizen science coordinator overseeing the Ontario Reptile and Amphibian Atlas, I’m asking you to join me in calling for an end to the hunting of snapping turtles – a species at risk in Canada. The federal government is now accepting public input on its draft Management Plan for the Snapping Turtle. The deadline for comment is May 29, 2016.

While strong in many respects, the draft management plan fails to direct the relevant jurisdictions, including Ontario, to prohibit the hunting of snapping turtles. Rather, it calls for further evaluation and mitigation of impacts, providing an excuse for continued delay and avoidance. It is simply unacceptable for the right hand to be allowing snapping turtles to be killed as the left hand tries to protects them.

Threatened by habitat loss, road mortality, water pollution and much more, snapping turtles are on both federal and provincial species-at-risk lists. Even so, Ontario permits hunting of up to two snapping turtles per person per day. 

This hunt is not sustainable. As explained in the draft management plan, “local populations are highly vulnerable to increases in adult mortality.” Research indicates that even a slight increase (+ 0.1 percent) in the annual morality rate of adult turtles due to road kill or hunting would reduce the number of adults in a local population by half in less than 20 years. 

Enough is enough. The hunt should be banned, period.

Most Canadian provinces where snapping turtles are found – Manitoba, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia – do not allow hunting of this species at risk. It continues only in Ontario and Saskatchewan.

Please help us put an end to the hunting of snapping turtles. Ask the department of Environment and Climate Change Canada to strengthen the plan and clearly direct all provinces to ban the hunt.

Thank you for helping protect snapping turtles! Let me know if you’d like to see a copy of Ontario Nature’s submission.


Emma Horrigan,
Citizen Science Coordinator,

We have provided a sample email below.
Important: if you add your personal touch, the government will give your submission greater consideration.


End hunting of at-risk snapping turtles, period

214 King Street West, Suite 612
Toronto, ON M5H 3S6
Toll Free (within Ontario): 1-800-440-2366

Charitable # 10737 8952 RR0001

Photo: Joe Crowley