Keep an eye out for Ontario's turtles, who are hitting the road for mating season

Love is in the air for Ontario's turtle population and a group called the Turtle Guardians says they've been busy dealing with the influx.

They're hoping residents will keep an eye out if you're driving on area roads in the next little bit.

The group has been fielding about 120 calls a day from nesting grounds near the road in both cottage country and in Sudbury.

"They are interlinked with this Earth – and so it was a wet and wild June and that was a signal to all the females, all the moms to get out and go nest," said Leora Berman of the Turtle Guardians.

Berman figures each of the turtles will cross the road about 12 times a year, but many are hurt or killed by passing cars in the process.

And he said a busy population doesn't exactly mean a healthy population; turtles are a threatened species in Ontario.

"In southern Ontario, there are portions where we have lost 90 per cent of our wetlands, all the way up to cottage country, we have lost a significant portion of our wetlands and hibernation," Berman said.

"The vast majority of turtles that come in (are) hit by vehicles – that's the most common scenario by far," said Turtle Pond Wildlife Centre's Gloria Morissette.

Morissette has one 41-pound snapping turtle they rescued from Lake Laurentian who's currently battling an eye ailment.

If you have to rescue a turtle, Morissette said it's important that you do it safely and don't change the direction the turtle is heading.

"That doesn't mean that there's a wetland in front of them," she said.

"People shouldn't assume that they're going the wrong way and try to switch them to where the water is because where they try to find next sites is often away from water sources and they'll travel kilometres to try and find and appropriate nest site."

Morissette said it's also been a busy time for bunnies. She's asking people to leave baby rabbits alone because they have not been abandoned by their mothers.

Her centre is now the only one left in the region. After it fills up, the next closest is Parry Sound.