The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) encourages motorists to give turtles crossing roads a brake. Turtles are struck by cars throughout warmer months, but are at special risk this time of year because they are on the move.
Young males make up most of the travelers as they search for territories of their own and for females. Females are also crossing roads in search of nesting sites. Comfort is also a factor. Like other reptiles, turtles are cold-blooded so basking on warm asphalt feels good on cool spring days.
MDC encourages motorists to slow down when they see a turtle in the road and check to be sure they can safely steer around it. If helping a turtle cross a road, keep human safety as the number-one concern. Check for traffic and move the turtle across the road in the direction it is traveling.
Watch a short MDC video on turtles crossing roads at youtube.com/watch?v=4KaTQ66uBhY .
Three-toed box turtles, ornate box turtles and common snapping turtles are species often seen crossing roads in Missouri. For more information on Missouri turtles, visit MDC’s online Field Guide at nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/search/turtle .