~Come check out our pond residents~
Now that the warmer weather is here, our ponds will no doubt be home to some special guests again this year. The ponds at NIWRA were created primarily for the rehabilitation of waterfowl but also for water conservation.
Turtles enjoy basking in the sun.
Recovering ducks, geese and swans have been placed in the ponds where they are fed regularly until they are able to leave and fend for themselves. Some ducks and geese are permanent residents of the ponds because of injuries.
A momma duck with her ducklings.
Wild ducks and geese often fly in and raise their families at the NIWRA ponds. We have been successful in integrating orphaned goslings and ducklings into these wild families.
You’re likely to see turtles in our ponds as well - Western Painted and Red-eared Sliders - especially when the sun is out.
There's room for everyone on this log.
The Western Painted Turtle is the only native freshwater pond turtle left in B.C., and it is considered an endangered species. It can be confused with the non-native Red-Eared Slider. To tell the two species apart, look for the telltale red “ear” mark on the Slider. The Western Painted turtles do not have any red markings on the neck or head. Their back is usually all green, while the underside is scarlet, reddish-yellow, or yellow with irregular dark patches.
A young red-eared slider turtle.
Most of the turtles in NIWRA's pond are red-eared sliders that used to be pets. As pets, turtles require large tanks, frequent cleaning, special filters, UVB lamps, dry basking areas, calcium supplements and chlorine neutralizing conditioner. That can be a lot of work! They also grow to be as big as a dinner plate and can live for 40 years - a long-term commitment.
The next time you visit NIWRA, be sure to go for a walk or sit on a bench relaxing for a bit by the ponds.
You can help the wildlife in care at NIWRA by making a financial contribution on our secure website. Thank you so much for caring about wildlife!