New turtle crossing signs near Bayfield
Concerned citizen helps bring awareness to public about turtle road mortality in area
Turtle crossing signs help alert motorists to turtles crossing Bayfield River Road
Thanks to a local donor, who purchased turtle crossing signs from the Toronto Zoo’s Adopt-a-Pond program, Ausable Bayfield Conservation was able to assist the Municipality of Central Huron in placing two new wildlife crossing signs along a stretch of Bayfield River Road, just east of Highway 21. These signs will help alert drivers to the possibility of turtles crossing the road.
The donor of the signs is from the Bayfield area. She walks a stretch along Bayfield River Road each day. This spring, during her walks, she noticed many turtles either crossing the road or nesting on the gravel shoulder of the road. This concerned citizen also noted that, unfortunately, some turtles had been killed on the road.
Along with habitat loss, road mortality is a major threat to Ontario’s turtle populations. All eight turtle species are now considered at risk.
“I have seen turtle crossing signs along other roads, and I thought that, given the number of turtles that seem to use this area, it was an appropriate location to raise some awareness about our natural environment,” the local donor said.
Although turtles spend most of their time in the water, they must move over land to find suitable nesting locations, and to use other wetland habitats.
“The busiest time for turtles on roads is generally the month of June as females look to nest, but it is not uncommon to see turtles, both males and females, on roads any time between April and October,” said Hope Brock, Healthy Watersheds Technician with Ausable Bayfield Conservation.
Drivers should slow down and look ahead for turtles. If a turtle is seen on the road and it is safe to do so, help them safely cross to the other side in the direction they are heading. To learn more about moving turtles safely across roads, please watch this video: