May and June are the nesting seasons for turtles across New York state. The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) wants you to "give turtles a break" when traveling roadways in the Capital Region and beyond. They cross the streets to find nesting areas.

What Should Drivers Do When They See a Turtle?

The DEC says that when you see a turtle on the roadways you should slow down to avoid hitting them with your vehicle. If you can stop, safely you are encouraged to do so. Then consider moving the turtle to the shoulder or the side of the road in which the turtle was facing.

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There is a Way to Handle Turtles Even if They are Injured

There are thousands of turtles injured on New York roadways every year. Most turtles can be picked up and transported across the street safely. Never pick up a turtle by the tail. You could injure them. You are advised not to try and pick up snapping turtles near their heads. You can pick up a snapping turtle by the back of its shell. You will see more turtles on roads near rivers and waterways.

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According to DEC Commissioner Seggos,

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.

What if You See An Injured Turtle?

You are urged to contact a licensed wildlife rehabilitator if you come upon an injured turtle. For more info click HERE. Also, it is illegal to take a turtle home. All native turtles are protected by law. You must have a DEC permit.

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