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Should you move turtle eggs?

Should you move turtle eggs?

*N-Turtle question Snapping turtle_2_mdWe had a question recently from a reader about a turtle nest he felt was in danger. Here is his email:

There is what I believe is a snapping turtle nest up against a hot top road that I walk on a daily basis. I only noticed it because an animal dug up and destroyed all the eggs the first year, which made me aware it was there. The second year the baby turtles hatched but the vegetation adjacent to the nest was so thick they stayed on the road and were all killed by cars. This year I know where the nest is and was wondering if it would be wise to carefully dig up the eggs and bring them home buried in a small pail of the same dirt they were in by the edge of the road? If I leave them where they are, I know with certainty that none of them will survive. If this is feasible then I could release them in a much safer environment once hatched. Please advise.

Thank you, Paul

We went to Ranger Steve and asked his advice. Here is his response.

“It will be dangerous to move them. Turning an egg will usually cause them to die. For some reason they are very fragile. I do not have a good solution but have a couple ideas.

1. Fence the road for a short distance to force the turtles to go a different direction.

2. Make a pathway the baby turtles can access away from the road.

Turtles like loose bare soil away from water to lay eggs. Near water they are even more vulnerable to raccoons, skunks, and other egg predators. Roadsides and trails are often selected for egg laying.

Raccoons and skunks have become over abundant and have made turtle survival difficult.”

We hope Ranger Steve’s suggestions help you protect these baby turtles!

 

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