Turtle crossing!

Why did the turtle cross the road? Why, oh why?! Turtle crossing
(This isn’t a post about my speed in the sudden heat of New England, by the way.)

Around here, in June, there’s an influx of turtles on the road.  I see many turtle casualties on my workouts. It’s sad.

Today, I paused my Garmin to help two shelled travelers on their pilgrimage to the other side. The first one seemed quite happy for the lift.  The second darted in circles, faster than I knew a turtle could move. During my turtle chase I had to flag 3 cars to slow down. Each one passed, nearly missing the remaining shell – I held my breath and couldn’t  look. Happily, I was able to chase the 2nd to the other side where his friend was still hiding in his shell.

I was happy that I had been able to save these little guys. And I spent the rest of the workout wondering why these guys cross in such huge numbers at this time of year. Here’s what I found out:

  • Nesting season lasts from late May to early July, reaching maximum intensity in early June.
  • Male turtles often move among ponds during the spring in search of potential mates, but the amount of movement of male turtles generally doesn’t even begin to approach that of females. Females that hope to contribute to future generations MUST leave the relative safety of ponds and wetlands. 
  • Today, the biggest threat to turtle populations  is being struck by automobiles on roadways. 

AND A FEW THINGS YOU CAN DO TO HELP TURTLES SURVIVE:

  1. Slow down and watch for turtles in roadways!
  2. Help turtles cross roads safely. If you see a turtle crossing a road and it is safe for you to do so, help it cross in the direction it was traveling.
  3. Don’t take the turtle home or move it far from where you found it. A turtle taken to your home is a turtle lost from the local population.
  4. If a turtle is injured, call your local animal control or wildlife authorities.

Please share this and ask friends to slow down on roads with ponds and other bodies of water. 

Thanks so much!

 

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Jeff says:

    Earlier this month, as I was running along the trail in Milford, a turtle wobbled across the trail. So I started thinking to myself, “Why did the turtle cross the trail?” in that almost hypnotic way that happens when I run. About a mile later, something odd caught my eye, and looking down I saw a turtle settling into the gravel on the side of the trail to lay her eggs. And then I had the answer to my question.

    1. Alex says:

      I love how sometimes when you ask a question, the universe delivers the answer. (especially when it’s timely enough that you still remember the question)

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