This summer BC Hydro will begin a study to learn more about the painted turtle’s natural movements and use of the Arrow Lakes Reservoir.
Revelstoke’s population of Western Painted Turtle was recently highlighted at the 2010 Winter Games. With a painted turtle design emblazoned on his helmet, Jon Montgomery, Canada’s skeleton racer, blistered down the track to win an Olympic gold medal on February 19, 2010. After his win, Jon explained how he rescued a turtle crossing the highway near the Revelstoke Airport and embraced the amphibian as his spirit animal after the encounter.
“BC Hydro is undertaking the study as recommended by the Columbia River Water Use Plan,” says Jennifer Walker-Larsen, BC Hydro’s Stakeholder Engagement Advisor. “The study ties in with other projects underway to help minimize the impact of BC Hydro’s Arrow Lakes Reservoir operations on wildlife and wildlife habitat.”
Fieldwork will begin in the spring and is being carried out by researchers at Thompson Rivers University. Study results are expected to help us better understand the population, their movements and habitat use. The study will also explore opportunities to improve turtle habitat through enhancement projects.
“BC Hydro understands the importance of the painted turtle to Revelstoke residents,” Walker-Larsen said in a statement. “We are committed to keeping the community informed and throughout the multi-year study. Stay tuned for more information as the study getsunderway.”
To find out more about BC Hydro’s programs please visit its website at www.bchydro.com