New turtle crossing signs are going up on Southview Drive in Sudbury
Declining turtle population largely due to motor vehicle collisions, researcher says
A local environmental group will be unveiling two new turtle crossing signs on a Sudbury street today.
The Junction Creek Stewardship Committee purchased the signs that will be posted along Southview Drive, between Robinson Street and Kelly Lake Road.
The research manager and co-ordinator with the group told CBC News she believes the signs will help reduce the number of turtles struck and killed by vehicles.
"We have a lot of confidence in the sense of conservation in Sudbury. Sudburians in general really do care about wildlife," Sarah Woods said.
"The sign is there just to remind people to slow down, to take an extra look for potential things on the road, to warn them to avoid potential turtles."
Woods said female turtles cross from nearby Lily Creek to lay their eggs in the soil along the side of the road.
Southview: a hot spot
She noted the turtle population is declining and road collisions are in large part to blame.
The section along Southview Road is a hot spot.
"Females like to lay their eggs in well-drained soil that have a lot of sun, so what better place to lay them than beside a road? The bridge between Robinson and Kelly Lake goes over, it happens to be Lily Creek, in this case," Woods said.
"Turtles travel from the lakes up the creek to the side of the road to lay their eggs."
The signs have been posted in each direction, 100-metres from the bridge to warn motorists to slow down.
There are three species of turtles around Greater Sudbury: snapping turtle, painted turtle (listed as a species at risk) and the blandings turtle (a threatened species).
The closest area for turtle crossing signs are near Fairbank Lake, but none in the core of the city.
with files from Angela Gemmill