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Press Release

Posted on: August 24, 2021

Turtles Crossing near Frank Starr Park and Discovery Center Area

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For Immediate Release: 8-23-2021

For more information contact:     


Keri Navratil

712-732-8000

Navratil@stormlake.org


Why Turtles Cross Roads?

Unlike the infamous chicken of many riddles, turtles cross roads not just to get to the other side but because turtles actually have someplace to go.  Where all turtles are mainly aquatic, overland journeys usually occur: (1) in connection with seasonal movements between different wetland habitats, (2) during the annual early summer nesting migration of egg laden females, or (3) when newly hatched youngsters seek out the backwaters and ponds that will serve as their permanent home. Turtles can travel many miles during a single year, and may even be found far from water; this is no need for concern. 


Giving Turtles A Hand

Helping turtles safely across roads, particularly females with eggs, is vital to the preservation of regional populations. The following important points should be remembered if this activity is to remain an effective turtle conservation tool.

    Don't put yourself or others in danger. Simply pulling off the road and turning on your hazard lights may alert other drivers to slow down. Be aware of your surroundings and traffic.

    Avoid Excessive Handling. While wanting to inspect turtles closely is understandable, excessive handling can disrupt normal behavior. Prolonged examination of turtles should therefore be limited to only one or two individuals of each species.

    Allow Unassisted Road Crossings. When turtles can safely cross roads unaided due to a lack of oncoming traffic allow them to do so. Observe from a distance and avoid rapid movements, as doing otherwise will often cause turtles to change direction, stop, or seek shelter within their shells.

    Handle Turtles Gently. If necessary to pick them up, all turtles should be grasped gently along the shell edge near the mid-point of the body. Please be advised that many turtles empty their bladder when lifted off the ground, so be careful not to drop them if they should suddenly expel water.

    Maintain Direction of Travel. Always move turtles in the same direction they were traveling in when encountered. Turtles should always be moved across roadways in as direct a line as possible. It may seem helpful to "assist" the turtle in its journey by moving them to a nearby waterbody, but it is important to remember the phrase, "If you care, leave it there."


Being Storm Lake Proud is not one day, one week, one month, or one event.  Being Storm Lake is a magnificent lifestyle!  More information about the City of Storm Lake can be found on the city's website at www.stormlake.org. 


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