Make Way For Turtles! - The Fisherman

Make Way For Turtles!

Rhode Island’s turtles are on the move to find nests and resources after spending the winter in brumation, their own version of hibernation. When turtles leave their sheltered winter homes under mud and leaf litter, their search for resources and nesting spots often takes them across dangerous roadways.

Staying vigilant on the roads could not only save a turtle’s life, but an entire local population—many species take up to a decade to reach sexual maturity, so every breeding turtle plays a major role in their small, often isolated, community.

If a turtle needs help crossing the road, do so with care by holding it on the sides of its shell. Avoid picking it up by its tail (this can hurt the turtle), and place it on the side of the road in the direction it was traveling. Turtles know where they’re going, and relocation causes them to get lost and may put them in danger as they try to find their way home.

If you find an injured turtle, contact the Wildlife Rehabilitators Association of Rhode Island at (401) 294-6363 for assistance. To learn more about Rhode Island’s seven native turtle species, follow this link to check out DEM’s Turtle Fact Sheet.