Freshwater turtles are reptiles, like snakes and lizards. Eight species of native freshwater turtles live in Canada. All of them are, or have a population or subspecies that is, at risk. A turtle’s shells is mainly used for protection from predators. All turtles need access to both water and land to complete their life cycle, and they inhabit a variety of freshwater habitats, from a variety of wetlands to lakes, streams and rivers, including in Markham.

Other turtle facts:

  • There are 8 different types of turtles that are indigenous to Ontario, most of which are at risk!

  • Did you know some turtles can live upwards of 70+ years

  • It is illegal to remove wildlife of any kind from public lands in Markham, including turtles

  • It is illegal to harm turtles

  • DO NOT release your pet turtle into the wild, please contact a turtle conservation centre for assistance

For more information on turtles in Ontario, visit

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