Wisconsin’s turtle population is in danger, but you can change that

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Wisconsin is full of more than beer, cheese, fires and lakes, it’s also an area heavily populated by turtles.

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Photograph by Ryan Vince

I’ll be honest, I’ve spent way more time watching turtle videos on TikTok than I’m willing to admit. I don’t know when this fascination started or how it started but I love turtles.

Blanding’s turtle on a rural dirt road in the Fish Lake Wildlife Sanctuary in northern Wisconsin

Bob Grif

In Wisconsin, the Department of Natural Resources encourages residents and visitors to keep their eyes peeled for turtles, especially this time of year.

Did you know that there are 11 different species of turtles native to Wisconsin?

It shouldn’t be surprising to see turtles slowly making their way to lakes, rivers and wetlands for the next 30 days or so. The Wisconsin DNR says this is when our shelled friends lay their eggs.

Snapping Turtle – Chelydra serpentina

RT pictures

Of course, nature being nature, other wildlife seek to snack on Mrs. Turtle’s eggs, primarily coyotes, raccoons, and skunks. They seek to plunder turtle nests like the people who flock to the Golden Corral after Sunday church.

Wisconsin DNR Fun Fact: Blanding’s turtles and wood turtles cannot breed until they are 12 to 20 years old.

Sassy pandas, coyotes and skunks aren’t the only hazards turtles endure, we are too.

According to NBC 15, vehicles are also predators. In fact, drivers should be very careful when driving near turtle habitats. There is also a way to report when you see turtles crossing roads, nesting or anything related.

All it takes is one accident…

You may be surprised to learn that the loss of a single female turtle can cause populations to decline or, worse, wipe out species altogether.

[h/t NBC 15]

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