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Help Our Herps!

Help Our Herps!

Our native herpetofauna (reptiles and amphibians) could really use your help to survive! Watch for them warming themselves or trying to cross the road during their active season, usually April through October for reptiles and as early as February for amphibians.  Turtles especially are active crossing roads during peak nesting season during May and June, when females can travel several miles to find suitable places to lay their eggs. 

Now is a key time of year to be watching for our herps as we drive and help them safely get across the road in the direction of their original travel. Do not place them on the side of the road they were coming from, as they will turn around and try crossing again. Be sure to pull off to the side of the road, turn on your hazard lights, and be careful of the vehicle traffic around you when stepping out of your vehicle into the roadway to assist.

Here are helpful handouts that can be printed or emailed to share with your family, friends, neighbors, and anyone else who will listen and learn about Blanding's turtles (Special Concern in Michigan) and wood turtles (now State Threatened in Michigan) and what we can do to best help them in our yards and on other landscape projects.  These two species are currently being considered for federal listing under the Endangered Species Act by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

For more info about these species and how to help turtles and other herpetofauna in general, check out these Mondays with Martha posts:

Mondays with Martha #2 - Blanding's Turtles

Mondays with Martha #7 - Wood Turtle

Mondays with Martha #106 - How to Help Turtles

Mondays with Martha #74 - Wood Frogs

Mondays with Martha #107 - Turtle Monitoring & Nest Protection at Chippewa Nature Center

Mondays with Martha #18 - Eastern Red-Backed Salamander

Mondays with Martha #14 - Eastern Newt

Mondays with Martha #155 - It's Turtle Time!

Next article August 2023 Native Plant Sale - Growing Season Finale

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