Turtle Crossing Season; DNR Reminds Motorists To Watch For Crossing Turtles
This is “turtle crossing season” – the time of year that northland turtles cross the road to get to their nesting areas. As such, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources reminds drivers to be observant and careful on roadways.
It’s during these early weeks of June that the majority of turtle-car deaths happen.
The DNR advises the following:
- Allow unassisted road crossings. When turtles can safely cross roads unaided due to a lack of oncoming traffic, allow them to do so. Observe from a distance and avoid rapid movements. Doing otherwise may cause turtles to change direction, stop, or seek shelter within their shells.
- Avoid excessive handling. Excessive handling can disrupt normal behavior. Prolonged examination of turtles should be limited to only one or two turtles of each species.
- Maintain travel direction. Always move turtles in the same direction they were traveling when encountered. Turtles should always be moved across roadways in as direct a line as possible.
- People who see a turtle or other animal on the road, should slow down, and safely drive around it. Many people want to help turtles cross the road but the best approach is to let the turtle cross on its own. There are nine turtle species in the state, some of which are protected.
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