DNR: Watch out for turtles crossing roadways this month
MADISON, Wis. (WEAU) - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is asking motorists to be aware of turtles crossing roadways this month.
According to the DNR, most of the 11 turtle species in Wisconsin breed in late May through June and often need to cross roadways to lay eggs on higher ground.
Some species, such as wood turtles and Blanding’s turtles, can take anywhere from a dozen years to two decades to be able to reproduce. The DNR said the loss of one female turtle can have a big impact on the number of turtles in the wild in Wisconsin.
Turtles being run over by cars is a significant factor in the decline of turtle numbers in the state, the DNR said, in addition to natural predators.
The DNR and the Wisconsin Dept. of Transportation are asking motorists to be aware of turtles on the roadways during their nesting season through late June and to follow these tips to help preserve turtle numbers in Wisconsin:
- Drive with caution near wetlands and rivers. Slow down, be alert and reduce distractions.
- Report roadways where turtles are crossing or are dead on the road. Fill in the short online form on DNR’s Wisconsin Turtle Conservation Program website.
- Build a nest cage to protect turtle eggs and later, hatchlings, if turtles are nesting on your property. Find instructions and a step-by-step video for a nest cage that allows hatchlings to exit but keeps predators like raccoons and skunks out.
To learn more about turtles in Wisconsin and efforts to conserve turtles in the state, you can go to the DNR’s website here.
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