KITCHENER -- In a bid to conserve the local turtle population, a Cambridge-based research reserve says it has rescued thousands of turtle eggs.

As nesting seasons comes to a close, rare Charitable Research Reserve says its Protect the Turtles program saw 2,000 eggs collected in Wellington County and Waterloo Region.

Staff also used donated cages to protect an additional 42 local nests, according to a tweet posted to rare’s account on Monday.

The reserve started the program in an effort to mitigate human impact on the local turtle population.

Staff collect nests from locations that put hatchling at risks, like construction sites, roads, parking lots and volleyball courts.

The eggs are taken to rare, where they are artificially incubated until they hatch.

Staff then return the hatchlings to a safe area close to the collection site.