Keep an eye out for turtles crossing the road DuPage county.
Forest Preserve officials say the reptiles become more active in springtime as their search for the best possible nesting spots. However, they can become a road hazard for motorists.
According to a news release from the DuPage Forest Preserve, "from April through October, turtles cross the roads in search of food, mates and nests." And females cross more often from May to July as the turtles make their way to and from nesting sites, a good distance away from bodies of water.
“For their eggs to survive, turtles must find just the right spot for their nests,” said District ecologist Dan Thompson. “Some turtles must travel up to a mile to find the right conditions."
That means turtles are crossing the roads more often. They move at a slow pace and aren't able to get out of the way quickly to avoid a car.
But the District says that despite their hard shells, turtles cannot protect themselves from being hit by vehicles. "The loss of one adult turtle can be significant because at least 90% of adults must survive each year to sustain a population" the release says.
"If the rate drops below this number, the population will be in decline."
The District says that car horns and flashing lights won't help turtles move any faster, and don't have any effect on the reptile.
Rather, Motorists can avoid turtles simply by following the rules of the road.
"Focus on driving, don’t speed or tailgate, and stay off your phone. Leave plenty of room between cars so you can see turtles. Drivers should never place themselves or others in danger by stopping abruptly on busy roads."
According to the Forest Preserve, DuPage County is home to a variety of native turtle species, including musk, snapping, eastern spiny softshell, common map, painted and the state-endangered Blanding’s.