Three Rivers Park District Urges Motorist Caution for Traveling Turtles
Jun 14, 2016 12:59PM
● By Doug Erlien
(Photo provided by Three Rivers Park District)
Three Rivers Park District is asking motorists on park and local roads to be aware of female turtles that are in search of high nesting grounds this time of year.
The majority of Minnesota’s species of freshwater turtles lay their eggs from late May through June.
Every year, thousands of turtles are killed on roadways, especially during the nesting season.
“It’s heartbreaking,” Three Rivers Park District Wildlife Technician Angela Isackson said. “A mature female killed on a roadway is a significant loss to that population, a loss that can most likely be avoided.”
A female turtle digs a nesting cavity, deposits her eggs, and then leaves the eggs to incubate in the warmth of the sun. The eggs hatch in two to three months, if they manage to escape predators such as skunks and raccoons.
The public also is reminded that it is illegal to take or collect snapping turtles in May and June in Minnesota. The harvest ban is intended to protect nesting female snapping turtles.
Information provided by Three Rivers Park District