Here at Burton, we are stewards of the environment and it goes hand in hand with our business goals. We are fortunate enough to be next to beautiful walking trails that encircle a large pond. On any given day, a handful of turtles and fish can be spotted in the pond and they have grown fond of humans sharing their lunch, being so bold to gather in front of a bridge in anticipation as we walk by.
Unfortunately, they may have gotten too comfortable, and one ventured out into the concrete jungle, crossing the road in front of our office building towards parking lots where he (or she) surely would have met their demise. The road wasn’t busy, so I took the opportunity to hop out of my car and take my very shy, amphibious friend back towards the pond that he calls home. While I’ve had this encounter many times growing up near lakes, ponds, and streams, this time I wondered why turtles cross the road. Turtles seem to have everything they need in their habitats, yet time and time again they go onto the hot pavement with no promise of water or survival in the future. The answer is species survival.
A wide range of turtle species reproduce in the late spring to early summer months. It has been found that the males will attempt to travel to other bodies of water in search of as many potential mates as possible. In the meantime, females will scour their surrounding areas for nesting sites in anticipation of finding a mate and laying eggs later in the summer. We find them putting themselves at risk in roadways during this time of year, more often than any other due to their reproductive season. We see the same with young deer learning their way around the world or other animals coming out of hibernation looking for food, primarily in northern regions.
The American Tortoise Rescue has established May 23 as World Turtle Day and some states recognize June as Turtle Month to bring awareness to the roaming turtles. The National Marine Life Center gives us some tips on how to help them in their road cross adventures.
Whether it’s Amphibians, reptiles, marsupials, or just a regular mammal, keep an eye out for wildlife on the roads at all times of the day throughout the summer.