Northern Map Turtles

Northern Map Turtle closeup

The Northern Map Turtle (Graptemys geographica) is a common inhabitant of medium to large lakes in Frontenac Provincial Park and is listed as a species of Special Concern by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). The Frontenac Arch region is also home to significant populations of Blanding’s Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) and the Eastern Musk Turtle (Sternotherus odoratus), both of which are listed as Threatened species by COSEWIC.

Basking

The map turtles are easily the most frequently encountered turtle species during our fieldwork, followed by Blanding’s, Snapping and Painted. Unfortunately I have yet to encounter the Eastern Musk or “Stinkpot” Turtle in the park, which isn’t that surprising given their small size and strictly aquatic habits. Hopefully I’ll luck into one this summer. Click here for a very interesting account of this unique species by researchers at the Queen’s University Biological Station of nearby Opinicon Lake (~20km northeast of FPP office).