DEC Warns Motorists About Turtles Crossing Roads
The states native turtles are on the move looking for mates and new homes in May and June, seeking sandy areas or loose soil to lay their eggs.
The DEC says "Drivers that see a turtle on the road should use caution, do not swerve suddenly of leave their lane of travel and take care to avoid hitting turtles while driving"
Each year thousands of turtles are killed when they are struck by vehicles while migrating to nesting areas. The states 12 native species of land turtles are in decline, and turtles can take more than 10 years to reach breeding age. The turtles lay just one small clutch of eggs each year, which means the loss of a breeding female can have a huge effect on the local turtle population.
How should a turtle be safely moved off the road? The DEC says "most turtles can be picked up by using two hands near the side of the shell, do not pick up the turtle by its tail as you will scare the turtle and may injure the reptile. Use extreme caution when moving snapping turtles, either pick up the at the rear of the shell near the tail using two hands or slide a car mat under the turtle and drag the turtle across the road."
The DEC says, "if its safe to do so, please slow down and steer around them."