Caring for Land

Snapping turtles at risk but still legally hunted

The snapping turtle is Canada’s largest freshwater and terrestrial turtle, and can be found most often in shallow waters, hiding under soft mud and leaf litter, although at one time they were a common sight crossing roads during the summer in search of nesting sites, food and mates.

The snapping turtle is listed as a species of special concern both federally and provincially. Threatened by hunting, road mortality and habitat loss, the snapping turtle is in decline in Ontario. Found primarily in the southern part of the province, snapping turtles are a legally hunted game species with an allowable take of up to two snapping turtles per person, per day. The Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR) does not monitor the hunt.