Oh Canada, Oh Canada!

It’s been several weeks since my last post and with the restrictions starting to come to an end and the world slowly attempting to go back to normal some of us here at T.R.E.E.S decided to make the leap from Belize back to our retrospective homes for few months.
I have flown back to sunny old England- which is actually sunny for once and am currently melting in a heatwave of highs of 38 °C! Wow I know- who knew the land of grey drizzle and fish n’chips could get so hot!
Vanessa has flown to Canada and is a busy bee working on a turtle tracking project and spending time with family. With Belize borders still closed but planning to open soon we took the journey back together through Mexico before parting ways, and guess who felt like travelling with us??

Is that a sassafras!?

Oh yea it is! Little Sassy made the journey with us to Mexico where she boarded (as hand luggage- I know! how dare they call her hand luggage) bound for Canada with Vanessa.

She has been a willing helper while away and is clearly loving the Canadian boat life, though I’m told she still barks at the turtles confused as to why they’re supersized, not like the small compact white lipped mud turtles she’s used to seeing in Belize. But she’s been sensible enough not to take on a any beavers.

Now being a girl from the refined city of London, I’ve not had the pleasure of seeing a beaver in the wild (or ever really!- I think I saw one in a zoo once but shh! that doesn’t count). And I was super jealous that Sassy saw beavers before me!

But its not just all about cute Sassy- who are we kidding? yes it is.

The project Vanessa has been working on aims at protecting one of the most endangered species of turtle found in Canada. There are 3 species of painted turtles found in Southern Canada, with the one found on the pacific coast of British Colombia, the Western Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta bellii) being endangered due to human encroachment of its wetland land areas for urban development. Activities such as water pollution, erosion, fragmentation and infilling mean female painted turtles lack adequate nesting sites. As if they don’t have enough to deal with from us, natural nest predation by raccoons, skunks and coyotes has taken a land-slide increase in the last 20 years as populations are artificially inflated by access to easy human food sources like garbage and crops.

This amazing little species is struggling to make a come back but with conservation efforts improving as more people become aware of the desperation to make a change populations are slowly rising, though they’re far from being out of the danger zone yet.

And lastly I feel like its only justified to end this post with another picture of Sassafras, but does anyone recognize that handsome devil in the forefront?!

It’s Matt! Oh you can bet our little puppy was happy to see him, Mathieu Charette, the founder and director of this organisation that is T.R.E.E.S. He’s been away for a while but its great to have his face make an appearance on the blog and you can expect to be seeing more of him soon with his arrival back to Belize this fall for our bird banding sessions.

We are hoping to run a small mammal and bat mist netting workshop along with our twice-annual bird banding workshop in October 2020. If your interested in Bats or Birds visit our main website and send us an email.

And that’s all for ‘Oh Canada’ but keep an eye out for my next post ‘Keep Calm and Stay British’ which will be coming soon, telling you about my adventures on the European island.

Stay Safe, Stay Healthy and Stay Tuned!

– T.R.E.E.S Survival Team