About Matthew E

''Turtles are the focal point of my life. There is not a day that goes by that I am not doing something turtle related, whether it's presenting educational lectures on turtle conservation, writing articles, giving interviews, or collecting observations of turtles in the wild. When I am not doing such activities I am planning and prepping for such efforts. I even live with turtles.''

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Matthew E
has always loved and been passionate about turtles! Since his early childhood, he has spent every summer in marshes, ponds, and swamps just so he could spend sometime with these reptiles. Over the years he has observed thousands of turtles in their natural habitats, and has spent countless hours with them. This includes several Species At Risk (Threatened or Endangered Species).

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Matthew giving a turtle conservation workshop on Wolfe Island. 2007.

Due to his growing concern over declining turtle populations, Matthew decided to start a turtle conservation and advocacy project. He now devotes his time to turtles as an educator, advocate, and conservationist. His efforts have earned him three Ontario Turtle Tally awards for his contributions to turtle conservation. These were presented by the Adopt-A-Pond Wetland Conservation Programme. Matthew's endeavors have earned him several other accolades, including being presented with a special honorarium-award from the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority to recognize his dedication to conservation, a Green Globe Award nomination from the Commerce and Engineering Environmental Conference, and being named a Visionary by Within Kingston Magazine. He has aptly been described as " so full of enthusiasm, he looks like he will burst at any moment" by the South Frontenac Natural Environmental Committee, and as a 'true conservationist' by the educational coordinator of the Little Cat Creek Conservation Area.

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Posing with one of the turtle crossing signs, he had put up. 2008.

To help bring his message of turtle conservation to the public, Matthew has given numerous educational workshops and lectures on turtles. These include presentations for kids clubs, special interest groups, and at many schools. Some highlights include presentations for the Society of Conservation Biology, the Cataraqui Region Conservation Authority, the Kingston Field Naturalists; and presentations for students at Queen's University and St. Lawrence College. During these events Matt teaches the public about the many threats that turtles face, and what they as individuals can do to help contribute to the recovery of these animals.

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Assisting a Blanding's Turtle (Emydoidea blandingii) across the road. 2011.

To further help get his messages out, Matthew has written several articles on turtles which have appeared in several conservation publications. In 2008, Matt also helped write and facilitate the production of an informative pamphlet and educational poster on turtle conservation for Wolfe Island's Big Sandy Bay. His work has also been featured in Turtles of Ontario: A Stewardship Guide (2012).

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Matthew presenting a display on turtle conservation in Cloyne, Ontario. 2013.

He also often appears in the local media to help get his message about the importance of turtle conservation out to an even broader audience. He has appeared on TV, Radio Shows, and in many newspapers and publications.

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Presenting a display on turtle conservation in Verona, Ontario. 2014.

To help combat turtle road mortality, Matthew has been instrumental in getting several turtle crossing signs erected in and around the Kingston area. This area has numerous wetlands and marshes, and is home to several turtles which have been designated as Species At Risk. He has also given presentations specific to this issue.

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Helping a Musk Turtle (Sternotherus odoratus) off of a road. 2016.

Matt also has considerable experience and expertise in regards to the care of turtles. He has cared for numerous species from seven different turtle families. These include forms belonging to the genera  Emydura, Chelydra, Pelodiscus, Sternotherus, Kinosternon, Agrionemys, Mauremys, Cuora, Terrapene, Chrysemys, Graptemys, Malaclemys, Pseudemys, Trachemys, and Emydoidea.

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Helping a Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta) across the road. 2018.

Alongside these activities, Matthew is an avid turtle observer. During the spring and summer months, he spends much time out in the field gathering observational records of turtles. These are sent to various monitoring programs to help contribute a better understanding of turtle populations, habitats, ranges, and behaviors across the province of Ontario. During these turtle observation trips, Matthew has had the opportunity to save many turtles by moving them off of busy roads. Matthew has a love and interest for all reptile and amphibians, and over the years has been involved with projects to help aid frogs, snakes and salamanders. However, in 2019, Matthew decided to again focus solely on turtles! As these animals are his greatest passion!
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Matthew talking about turtle conservation on the Global News Morning Show. 2019.