Recovery of the spiny softshell turtle in Québec

Recovery of the spiny softshell turtle in Québec

Making a difference through a sustainable partnership

This large-scale project aims to increase the number of spiny softshell turtles and to study Québec's only viable population (Lake Champlain region, Rivière-aux-Brochets) of this endangered species while raising awareness in the community and with various regional stakeholders.

Vision for the future

Since the start of the egg-laying monitoring program, 2,125 hatchlings have been returned to their natural habitat (data from 2022). A new telemetry season in 2021 has allowed for the tracking of juveniles from the Coup-de-Pouce program between one and two years of age. Various awareness-raising and stewardship activities are also continuing with local residents, farmers and boating enthusiasts, with the aim of protecting this turtle, its habitat and all the species that cohabit in the same environment.


With its many partners, the Zoo de Granby has been carrying out this project for more than ten years. Thanks to the egg-laying monitoring and artificial incubation efforts carried out since 2009, more than 106 nests have been found and placed in incubators in the Zoo's installations, thus escaping the raccoons' fangs and sudden floods. In addition to the releases into the natural environment, the Zoo has been running a " Coup-de-Pouce " program for the past few years, as well as a telemetry monitoring of juveniles. There are also many actions to protect and develop riparian habitats and to raise public awareness, including a program in the region's schools and Mikinak, the Pike River Turtle Festival.

Conservation Project: Spiny Softshell Turtle


Did you know that there are only 7 different species of turtle in Québec, the majority of which are threatened? Learn more about these cold-blooded animals in this educational fact file.
Do your part to protect turtles!
If you see a turtle, report it on You'll be helping biologists compile important data about turtle movements so they can develop appropriate protection programs.


The institution's efforts on behalf of the spiny softshell turtle were recognized by Canada's Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA) in 2014 with the receipt of the Colonel G.D. Dailley Award for in situ species breeding.