Give Turtles "a Brake"

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
DEC Delivers - Information to keep you connected and informed from the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
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Each June, motorists should be on the alert for turtles crossing the road


turtle walking

Did you know?

  • Our native turtles are on the move in June seeking sandy areas to lay their eggs
  • In New York, thousands of turtles are killed each year when they are struck by vehicles as they migrate to their nesting areas
  • It may take more than 10 years for a turtle to reach breeding age, and they lay just one small clutch of eggs each year, so the loss of a breeding female can have a significant effect on the local population
  • All eleven species of land turtles that are native to New York are declining

What can I do to help?

  • If you see a turtle on the road, please try to avoid hitting it with your car. Do not swerve suddenly or leave your lane of travel, but take care to avoid hitting turtles while driving
  • Be on the lookout for turtles and slow down, especially on roads near rivers and marshy areas
  • If you see a turtle in the road or shoulder and you can safely stop your vehicle, please consider moving it to the shoulder on the side of the road in the direction it was facing. Please only do this on quiet roads so that you remain safe. We do not recommend approaching snapping turtles.