▶ Adopt A Pond | Resources

Identification Guides and Other Resources

Turtle and Snake Crossing Signs

Adopt-A-Pond has provided Turtle and Snake Crossing signs to many communities throughout Ontario to mitigate traffic threats against Species at Risk turtles and Snakes. There may be no bigger threat to reptiles in Ontario than that of busy roads and highways. Countless turtles and snakes are run over by cars and killed each year on Ontario’s roads. All of Ontario’s eight turtle species are at risk, and many that are killed are females travelling to nesting areas. The loss of females is especially devastating to populations. If you live in an area with high reptile road mortality, you may be interested in a road awareness sign!

How do I “sign up”?

  • Identify a road mortality hotspot. Take photos and notes of the area and mortalities/injuries that you see. Get neighbours involved in watching for turtles and snakes on the road. Report your turtle sightings to Ontario Turtle Tally.
  • Obtain approval from the municipality or road authority where the sign will be installed and meet their sign location and installation specifications. Contact your local road authority in writing with your request.
  • OR, demonstrate that you will be installing the sign on private property adjacent to a road mortality hotspot.
  • Contact the Adopt-A-Pond Coordinator at aap@torontozoo.ca or 416-392-5999

ID Guides

(most available in English and French) (Mohawk and Ojibway available through TIC)


Turtles of Ontario
Ojibway
Turtles of Ontario

Hard copies of our laminated guides are available upon request.

Please contact us for more information


Snakes of Ontario
Snakes of Ontario

Hard copies of our laminated guides are available upon request.

Please contact us for more information


Ontario’s Only Lizard
Ontario’s Only Lizard

Hard copies of our laminated guides are available upon request.

Please contact us for more information


Ontario Reptile Eggs
Ontario Reptile Eggs

Hard copies of our laminated guides are available upon request.

Please contact us for more information


Amphibians of Ontario
Amphibians of Ontario

Hard copies of our laminated guides are available upon request.

Please contact us for more information


Larval Amphibians of Ontario
Larval Amphibians of Ontario

Hard copies of our laminated guides are available upon request.

Please contact us for more information


Ontario Amphibian Eggs
Ontario Amphibian Eggs

Hard copies of our laminated guides are available upon request.

Please contact us for more information


Waterproof Fold-Out ID Guide: Reptiles and Amphibians of Ontario
Waterproof Fold-Out ID Guide: Reptiles and Amphibians of Ontario

Hard copies of these waterproof guides are available upon request.

Please contact us for more information


Ontario Frog and Toad Calls USB stick (English)
Ontario Frog and Toad Calls USB stick (English)
This USB stick contains the calls of all Ontario frog and toad species, as well as calls that can easily be confused with our frogs and toads. Although all calls are available on our website in each species profile, this can be used when you do not have access to the website. Learning your calls will help you report to our FrogWatch Ontario Program.

Hard copies of this USB stick are available upon request. Please contact us for more information.

You can also listen to the calls of our Ontario species online, just visit our Species Guides page for Frogs and Toads and click on the species you are interested in.


Posters




Born to be Wild- Massassauga Rattlesnake poster
Contact us

Reptiles and Amphibians of Ontario ID Poster
Reptiles and Amphibians of Ontario ID Poster

Hard copies of our laminated posters are available upon request.

Please contact us for more information


Blanding’s Turtle- Individuals Living in a Swamp Poster
Contact us

Books




Turtles of Ontario- A Stewardship Guide
Turtles of Ontario- A Stewardship Guide

Turtles of Ontario- A Stewardship Guide provides in depth information on each of our Ontario turtle species and how we can support their survival by being good land stewards. It helps with identifying turtles and their habitat throughout Ontario. You can also get an idea of stewardship projects that people are undertaking to help turtles, and some tips to get your own projects started. This guide is more extensive than our smaller "Turtles on your Property" guide.

Due to the size of this booklet it is not available for download. Hard copies are available upon request. Please contact us for more information.


The Eastern Massassauga Rattlesnake Stewardship Guide
The Eastern Massassauga Rattlesnake Stewardship Guide

This booklet was created for those who live, work, visit, cottage or camp within the range of the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake, Ontario's only venomous snake! It is designed to help people increase their knowledge about this threatened Ontario snake, and to make the public comfortable living in its environment. It will not only help you to live safely with this snake but also be a good land steward that understands the recovery of this rare species.

Due to the size of this booklet it is not available for download. Hard copies are available upon request. Please contact us for more information.


Brochures




Ontario Turtle Tally brochure
Ontario Turtle Tally brochure

Are you interested in more information about Ontario Turtle Tally? Do you want help to share this program with friends? Our Ontario Turtle Tally brochures feature full colour illustrations of all Ontario turtle species on one side and a brief overview of the program on the other. They are informative and fun hand outs for events where people have an interest in the natural world.

Click here or on the above image for a PDF of the brochure. Hard copies are available upon request. Please contact us for more information.


FrogWatch brochure
FrogWatch brochure

Are you interested in more information about FrogWatch Ontario? Do you want help to share this program with friends? Our FrogWatch Ontario brochures feature full colour illustrations of all Ontario frog and toad species on one side and a brief overview of the program on the other. They are informative and fun hand outs for events where people have an interest in the natural world.

Click here or on the above image for a PDF of the brochure. Hard copies are available upon request. Please contact us for more information.

Urban Turtle Initiative brochure
Contact us
Red-eared slider brochure
Contact us

Curriculum




Turtle Conservation Curriculum

Rattlesnake Curriculum

Wetland Curriculum

Live Animals in the Classroom
Live Animals in the Classroom

Keeping live animals in homes or schools is one of the most common approaches to teaching children about wild animals and their environment. Schools often acquire such animals as frogs, newts, or tadpoles through biological supply houses or pet stores.  They should never be taken from the wild (and permits to do so are required).  Live animals in the classroom help to stimulate student curiosity, teach respect, and keep students focused during presentations. Once the lesson plan or the school year is completed, many of the animals used in classrooms or laboratories are released into the wild or given to well-meaning students and with decreasing levels of commitment or care.


Aside from guidelines on care of animals or laws that govern their acquisition, an important consideration is what to do with the animals when the school year ends. Along with the accountability of knowing how to acquire an animal and keep it as a pet comes the responsibility of how to get rid of it. Most people, including many schoolteachers, do not realize that releasing the animal into the wild is the wrong thing to do.


In some provinces it is illegal to release classroom pets or laboratory specimens into the wild.   But regardless of whether a law exists, releasing unwanted animals into the wild is unethical and inhumane.  Chances are a released pet will not fare well in the wild; it may be unable to capture its own food, it may be ineffective at avoiding predators with which it has no experience, and it may be unable to find a suitable overwintering location. Also, breeding between native and introduced species may result in maladapted genes of native species.  A native population of a species may be exposed to harmful parasites or diseases to which it has no natural resistance.  Other problems include a loss of resources to native animals, due to increased competition, or predation from released ones.


Instead of releasing unwanted classroom or laboratory animals into the wild, consider your long term responsibility to maintain the animal throughout the school year and the remainder of its life, or take responsibility for humane euthanasia rather than a death without your knowledge.


Thinking ahead is important.  A brochure from Partners in Amphibian and Reptile Conservation suggests: "All of these alternatives outweigh the risk of releasing captive animals into the wild. To avoid the problem, think about what you will do with them BEFORE you obtain them. Although the release of 'one little animal' into the wild may seem benign, that action could have serious biological and legal consequences."


Before getting school pets, remember that being responsible for a captive animal includes humane closure as well as acquisition.