Slow Down and ‘Give Turtles A Break’ Across the Hudson Valley
When driving around the Hudson Valley within the next few weeks, make sure you're paying attention.
According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, this time of year, turtles are laying their eggs and crossing roadways to get there. The DEC wants drivers to "Give Turtles a Brake'" throughout May and June. Monday, May 23rd is world turtle day and takes place during a busy egg-laying season for turtles.
New York State DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos said:
"While a turtle's shell provides protection from predators, it does not protect against being struck by vehicles while crossing roadways. Vehicle strikes are a major cause of mortality among turtles and New York's native turtles are more susceptible at this time of year as they seek sandy areas or loose soil in which to lay their eggs. Especially in these coming weeks, DEC urges New York drivers to be on the lookout for turtles and slow down, particularly on roads near rivers and marshy areas."
Friends of the Feathered and Furry Wildlife Center in Catskill shared an upsetting photo on their social media accounts that serve as a reminder to slow down.
They ask that if you are in a safe position and see a turtle crossing the street to help it across.
How To Move a Turtle Across the Road Safely
The Friends staff explains that you don't even need to pick the turtle up to get it to safety. They write:
Please take a minute to help a turtle cross the road as long as it is safe to do so. They are on their way to lay eggs. You don't have to pick them up, just slide them across with your foot.
If you plan on helping the turtle cross the road, make sure you bring them in the direction they are heading and do not pick them up by their tail it could hurt the turtle, according to the DEC. If you come across a snapping turtle, the DEC recommends grabbing it near the back of the shell. Snapping turtles have long necks, very strong bites, and can reach far back.
For more information on the turtles in New York State and how to help them during their egg-laying months visit DEC.NY. GOV.