Citizen makes crossing road safer for turtles

Turtle crossing sign. Photo courtesy of the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority.

A Bayfield-area woman who regularly walks on Bayfield River Road has gone out of her way to make life a little easier for turtles who cross the road to nest.

Ausable Bayfield Healthy Watershed Technician, Hope Brock, says the woman contacted her about turtles she had seen crossing the road and a particular spot and some that had been hit by cars before they made it across. She said she had seen turtle crossing signs in other places and wondered if they could put some up there.

“We got in touch with Central Huron to ask permission for these signs to be placed on the side of the road and they said yes that’s fine if you let us know where,” Brock said. “So I just took a look at the sighting and tried to place them so drivers would have time to slow down.”

Brock says the turtles seem to cross at one particular place.

“If you look on a map, there’s like a wetland habitat on one side, so they could be using that and then maybe they come towards the road and nest on the shoulder or some other sandy, gravelly spot,” she said.

It’s risky, both for the turtles getting to a suitable spot to lay the eggs and then for the baby turtles getting back to the water after they’ve hatched, so they are asking drivers to slow down whenever they see the signs.