Turtle Moon in June

turtle on the roadIt’s the full moon in June and that means it’s time for turtles to get seriously busy.  Over the past week, anyone paying attention will have noticed turtles along the sides of the roadway, particularly, the 20 km drive from South River to the Edge.  With the warm weather, snapping turtles have begun roaming widely in search of a mate or a spot to lay eggs.

It seems the gravel at the side of the road way is a favourite place for digging and burying eggs.  Climbing the bank from their pond or lake home, mother turtles choose a location and carefully dig a hole for the eggs to be buried in.  She squats over her carefully excavated hole and deposits her ping-pong-ball-like clutch of eggs, buries them, and retreats to the water abandoning them to fate.

Avoiding vehicles on the roadway is just one of the obstacles facing area snapping turtles.

Skunks, foxes and possums will eat most of the eggs. We’ll start to notice white shells by the side of the road in places where the buried eggs have been discovered and devoured.  Birds and bullfrogs will go after the hatchlings in August as they attempt to make their way to the water. Only a few turtles will survive to adulthood.

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