June 9th
Turtles: Mating Season and Preservation

In June, turtles are frequently sighted crossing roads. These frequent turtle sightings are due to the mating season that takes place throughout the month of June. During mating season, female turtles are moving because they are searching for food, a mate, a nesting site and/or a place to lay their eggs. Since turtles are on the move in June, drivers need to be on the lookout for them.

If you happen to see a turtle in the middle of the road, please help it cross safely. If it’s safe to do so, pull over and help them across in the direction they were traveling. To safely move them across the road, use both hands and hold them like a “pizza box.” Place one hand underneath the turtle and one hand on top of the shell. Be careful of snapping turtles because they do bite. When carrying the turtle, keep your hands away from the turtle’s mouth to avoid the chance of getting bitten.

If you find a turtle that’s been hurt, please don’t try to treat it yourself. Instead, call your local humane society. Repairing turtle shells takes skill and the work is done under an anesthetic. After the shell has been repaired, we will return the turtle to the exact spot they were found so when you call, be specific about where you found it. If you find a deceased turtle, please still report it by calling your local humane society. If it’s a female turtle, she may have already laid eggs nearby.

In Ontario, there are eight different turtle species and all of them are considered to be species at risk. The destruction of habitats is largely to blame for the declining turtle population. Many of the wetlands that were home to turtles have been altered or destroyed.

We all need to do our part in turtle preservation. Visit ontarioturtle.ca for more information.