Saturday, May 9, 2015

As baby turtles emerge, some tips to keep them safe

YORK, Maine — As the nighttime temperatures warm up, and ponds and other water bodies stabilize at 40-50 degree temps, our ancient reptilian friends are emerging from hibernation and on the move.

Watch for snapping turtles, spotted turtles, and other species crossing roads from hibernation spots to their late spring/early summer habitats, a press release from the Center for Wildlife urges.

“We received three calls just today about people finding turtles crossing roads, wanting to know what to do. After they emerge from hibernation, female turtles go from their water source to a sandy upland habitat to lay their eggs; following the tracks of their mothers, grandmothers, and many other ancestors before them. We are moved by how closely connected our community is to these ancient creatures. If you find a turtle in the road this year and it is safe to do so, simply move the turtle to the side of the road in the direction they were facing. If you put them back in the water and they haven’t laid their eggs yet, they have to come all the way out and cross that road again” shares Center for Wildlife’s Executive Director Kristen Lamb.

Also, each year around Mother's Day in our region, turtle hatchlings the size of nickels and quarters will be emerging from their nests to make their first trek to water bodies. Although tiny, they are completely on their own from the moment their mother lays their eggs and covers them expertly in the nest. Incredibly, baby painted and other turtles in our climate hatch from their eggs in September/October, and spend all winter hibernating beneath the ground. When they emerge in the spring, they instinctually move toward the body of water their mothers came from.

What are some things you can do to help turtles this season? Follow these 10 tips to make a difference for a species that is facing rapid decline due to habitat destruction and the illegal pet trade: ...cont.... As baby turtles emerge, some tips to keep them safe - News - - Dover, NH