Turtles need a helping hand this time of year. Female turtles are on the move looking for nest locations. Many travel far distances from their home area in order to lay eggs. A turtle could end up in your yard even if you don’t live adjacent to a pond or lake.
You can support their efforts and rescue turtles that get into trouble. They don’t account for dangerous obstacles like roads, driveways, and lawns, they go where their instincts direct them. Here are some tips you can follow to help them navigate across treacherous areas.
If you find a turtle in your lawn leave it be, it may have found a place to lay eggs.
- Be careful before mowing. Always check to make sure you do not see a turtle. Raise mower decks.
- If a service cares for your lawn, warn the owner to be on the lookout for turtles.
- If you see a turtle crossing the road and if you can do so safely, pick it up and place it on the other side of the road in the direction it was going. Caution — do not pick up snapping turtles, use a shovel. You can identify a Snapper by its sharp beak-like mouth. If you are unsure, use a shovel. It’s better to err on the side of caution.
If you do give a turtle a hand and have a camera handy, snap a photo and record the date/place/time. Many state fish and wildlife agencies collect turtle data. Often you can report your finding on the agency website. Many turtle species are threatened or endangered. You can help your state better understand the distribution of turtle populations and assist in the development of plans to manage the populations in your state.
Keep turtles safe
Please DO NOT POST LOCATION on social media. This invites poachers to capture turtles and sell them on the black market.