HALIFAX -- A species of endangered turtles is getting some help with the protection of one of its remaining habitats in Nova Scotia.

The Nature Trust says 27 hectares of land around McGowan Lake are being permanently and legally protected as conservation lands for Blanding's turtles.

The land consists of 15 islands and forested peninsula in southwest Nova Scotia, which the group says is one of the most critical nesting sites for the endangered turtles.

The Nature Trust launched a public appeal in November to help save the refuge for the turtles, raising $224,000 to safeguard the property.

The group estimates that less than one per cent of Blanding's hatchlings survive, adding that many are wiped out by expanding cottage development and roads in the areas where the turtles live.

They are listed on both the Canadian and Nova Scotian endangered species lists, and some of the 350 remaining turtles are found in one small area of the province.