The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), the City of Brampton and the Toronto Zoo’s Ontario Road Ecology Group (OREG) with the help of local volunteers completed the Heart Lake Road Ecology Monitoring Project (HLREMP), which was featured in the articles entitled “Heart Lake Road Wildlife Monitoring” in the May 2011 edition of CreekTime and “Heart Lake Road Monitoring – Update” in January 2012.
As part of the project, TRCA in partnership with the City of Brampton has installed a dedicated wildlife culvert under Heart Lake Road to allow safe passage for wildlife as part of the long term road ecology study. To facilitate access to the passage, directional wildlife fencing has also been installed so animals are channeled towards the culvert.
TRCA has received funding through the Great Lakes Community Guardian Fund to continue studies at the Provincially Significant Wetlands along Heart Lake Road. Part of this funding supported the installation of turtle nesting beaches along Heart Lake Road and within Heart Lake Conservation Area where documented nesting has taken place.
Gravel along the shoulders of roads provides an ideal nesting medium for female turtles, however this location for laying eggs poses significant risks to turtles due to vehicle related fatalities as they return to their feeding grounds. Turtle nest beaches have been created with specific soil/gravel medium providing an alternative area to lay eggs, directing the animal away from the road.
Continued monitoring will be undertaken to track progress and success of the project.