On June 1, 2022

Turtles on the roadway need your help to survive

Vermont’s turtles will be on the move this spring, and the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department is asking for the public’s help in keeping them safe. Female turtles will be looking for places to deposit their eggs, sometimes choosing to lay them along the shoulders of roads, which can bring them into the path of motor vehicles.

VTF&W photo by Luke Groff
Turtles are out digging their nests and may be on the shoulders of roads. Drivers are urged to keep an eye out for them.

“Turtles often move across roads as they search for a nest site,” said Luke Groff, biologist for the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department. “They are usually slow-moving animals, so they have a tough time making it safely across the road. Turtles grow slowly and live a long time, so losing a mature breeding female may be a huge loss to a turtle population.”

Turtle nesting activity peaks between late May and early June, and drivers are urged to keep an eye out for turtles on the road — especially when driving near ponds and wetlands.

“When you spot a turtle in the road, you may be able to help it across. First be sure you’re in a safe spot to stop and get out of your car, as human safety comes first,” said Groff. “If you’re going to move a turtle off the road, always move it in the direction it was traveling. They know where they’re going.”

Most turtles can be picked up and carried across the road. However, if the turtle has no colorful lines, spots, or other markings, it is probably a snapping turtle, so people should stay alert to avoid being bitten. Snapping turtles’ necks are long. Instead of picking up the snapper, try pushing the turtle across the road with a shovel or pulling it across the road on a car floor mat.

Do you want to submit feedback to the editor?

Send Us An Email!

Related Posts

Large turnout for Hartland school budget info session

May 23, 2024
By Curt Peterson The May 21 Hartland school budget information session may be the best-attended school board gathering in recent history — an estimated 40 people attended in person at Damon Hall in Hartland, and another 41 tuned in online. Hartland voters had already approved the $11,040,567 budget 320-311 on April 2. But a petition…

United Way of Rutland County names new exc. director

May 22, 2024
The United Way of Rutland County (UWRC) announced the appointment of Tina Van Guilder as its new executive director, May 17.  Van Guilder officially assumed her role as executive director May 6. With over seven years of direct non-profit leadership experience in the Rutland County area, coupled with recent roles focusing on grant coordination, budget…

Gov. Scott vetoes bill that would’ve restricted bee-killing pesticide

May 22, 2024
Staff report On Monday, May 20, World Bee Day, Gov. Phil Scott vetoed legislation meant to protect bees and other pollinators from a widely-used neuorotoxic pesticide. The bill (H.706) would  eliminate most uses of neonicotinoid pesticides (neonics) in Vermont, which have been associated with alarming losses of managed and wild bee populations. Neonic insecticides are used on…

Slate Valley school district to hold fourth vote on district budget

May 22, 2024
In response to the results of the last vote on May 9, and valuable community feedback during the school board meeting on May 13, the Slate Valley Unified Union School District will hold its fourth vote in an attempt to pass the budget on May 30. It will be a revote on the third FY25…