Why Did the Turtle Cross the Road?

Kathy Westwater PARK 6.26.10 001

Every June, New York’s native turtles migrate in search of sandy areas to lay their eggs. According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), thousands of turtles are killed each year when they are struck by vehicles as they move to their nesting areas. The DEC reports that all eleven species of land turtles that are native to New York are currently declining, so it’s important that we do what we can to help these turtles reach their destinations.

  • If you see a turtle on the road, please try to avoid hitting it with your car. Do not swerve suddenly or leave your lane of travel, but take care to avoid hitting turtles while driving
  • Be on the lookout for turtles and slow down, especially on roads near rivers and marshy areas
  • If you see a turtle in the road or shoulder and you can safely stop your vehicle, please consider moving it to the shoulder on the side of the road in the direction it was facing. Please only do this on quiet roads so that you remain safe. The DEC does not recommend approaching snapping turtles.

Researchers from The College of Staten Island are studying the health and migration of Painted Turtles throughout Staten Island with a focus in the wetlands of Freshkills Park. Learn more about the ongoing project.

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