Quick Quiz about Turtles - True or False.
1. May and June are when turtles nest in New York State.
2. May 23rd is World Turtle Day.
3. There are 11 species of land turtles native to New York State.

Common Snapping Turtle
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All three above statements are true! Unfortunately, most of the 11 species of turtles in New York State are in decline. Turtles can live a long time, and they take over 10 years to reach maturity.

Losing just one mature female can have a negative impact on a local population. And that is why the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is asking New York motorists to "give turtles a brake."

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According to the NYS DEC, in the Empire State, thousands of turtles are killed each year by unsuspecting drivers when turtles cross our roadways to find nesting areas.

Turtle
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What To Do When You See A Turtle In The Road

If you see a turtle on the road during your travels, slow down to avoid hitting it The NYS DEC notes that if you can safely stop and are able to safely do so, consider moving the turtle to the shoulder on the side of the road in the direction it was facing.

Do not pick turtles up by their tails. By doing so, you risk injuring the turtle. Most turtles can be picked up safely by the sides of their shells. Check out the video below on how to safely move a turtle.

Green turtle resting on lake
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How About Snapping Turtles?

Snapping turtles should be picked up by the rear of the shell using both hands near the tail because they can reach far back and hit you with a strong bite. Another thing you can do is to drag the snapping turtle safely across the road on a mat or blanket.

By the way, if you find a turtle, do not take it home. Native turtles are protected by law and cannot be kept without a permit from the NYS DEC.

For more facts about turtles native to New York State, visit the NYS DEC website. For information on World Turtle Day, visit the WTD website.

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