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Upper Thames River Conservation Authority

Southern Ontario At Risk Reptiles

Project Details

London, ON, Canada

Southern Ontario At Risk Reptiles (SOARR) has changed the trajectory for many reptiles in the region, slowing population declines, creating habitat, developing partnerships, and working with landowners for the benefit of our local wildlife.

Placement Details

SOARR is one of the longest running and most successful reptile research and recovery programs in Canada. Much of SOARR’s work takes place throughout the Thames River watershed and along Lake Erie’s rare coastal wetlands in SW Ontario, documenting and studying turtles and snakes, and enhancing critical habitat.

Throughout the placement, participants learn to identify, handle, and tag wildlife, as well as collect morphological measurements and perform health assessments. They perform data collection in the field, becoming familiar with provincial/federal permits and species management plans, while increasing proficiency using field gear such as GPS units, transponder tags, canoes/kayaks, etc.

They also work in the lab learning egg extraction techniques, monitoring egg incubation, and caring for new reptiles before release into the wild.

Placement Category: Wildlife Advocacy and Rehab; Field Research and Monitoring

Placement Season: Summer

Placement Type: Urban, Field

2023 Participant Highlights


Participant Emma Rutherford

During her 2023 placement with SOARR, Emma was active in every stage of locating, assessing, incubating, and hatching the reptiles that she helped to document and release, but she says the highlight was getting to witness the new hatchlings emerge from the eggs that were collected over the nesting season. Her most valuable takeaway from the experience was the importance of being willing to do and try new things.

To see what a day in the life looks like at SOARR, read Emma’s blog here.

Check out Emma’s @oceanwiseyouth feature here.

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