Enthusiastic response to turtles crossing road
Wildlife enthusiasts are helping migrating turtles cross a US highway by collecting them in buckets.
The effort, organised through Facebook, also collects data for researchers in Indiana State University’s biology department, the Terre Haute Tribune Star reported.
Amber Slaughterbeck, naturalist for the Vigo County Parks and Recreation Department, said this time of year is a busy migration period for the turtles, which typically move northward from the south side of the Wabashiki Fish and Wildlife Area in Indiana.
According to the group, Wabashiki Turtle Research and Rescue, fewer turtles and other creatures have been killed on US 40 since the Indiana Department of Transportation installed a fence.
When the group arrived at the location recently, 46 live turtles were rescued along the fence. “The majority of those, if we hadn’t had the fence, probably would have been smashed on the road,” said Leah Dresdow, a member of the group.
Dresdow said five turtles were found dead.
The live turtles are collected in buckets and taken to nearby Lazy L Lake.
Members determine the species and gender of each turtle, record any remarkable physical characteristics and note the time of day and environmental conditions when they were found. They also measure the reptiles.
“Once you start saving those little turtles, it’s kind of addictive,” Dresdow said.
The most common species found are painted turtles.