10 Ways YOU can Help Turtles in YOUR Neighborhood

1. Never remove turtles from the Wild. It is illegal and unethical. Don’t purchase wild caught turtles, instead adopt a shelled friend. Turtles can live 100 years and often need new owners.

2. Promote preservation. Urban Sprawl hurts us all and separates us and our children from our earth. Promote parks and outdoor space in your neighborhood and include pollinator friendly native plants. Wildlife habitat that is good for turtles is good for the planet, and all of us.

3. Turtles live in home territories and cross roads when they need to get to parts of their habitat. Help them across roads in the direction they are going, leaving them in their home.

4. Create a backyard habitat.  Habitat loss is the number one reason for turtles and wildlife disappearance. Plant beneficial, native plants, and let organic  matter like leaves and logs stay to create food and shelter.

5. Mow Carefully and during the heat of the day when turtles seek shelter from the mid-day heat. Females seek out firm  earth in a sunny spot to dig a nest for her eggs. Hatchlings are small and hard to see.

6. Control your pets. Pets are the second biggest threat to turtles (right behind humans)

7. Let wildlife be wild. Feeding wildlife disturbs the natural prey /predator balance and causes more predation on eggs and young wildlife.

8. Make ponds and water features turtle friendly. Most turtles can swim. Some, like the box turtle, can also drown. Use rocks and logs to create exits for  ponds on all sides. Encourage pool owners to install turtle friendly filters or suggest a small floating  “dock” in the filter trap, and check daily.

9.  Volunteer. You don’t have to dig in dirt to help out.  Conservation groups need computer and fundraising help too. Or get out and help educate at your local wildlife area or park.  If you can’t help; DONATE!

10.  Spread the word. Not everyone is on Facebook and many of our neighbors    have no idea how big the struggle is for our native wildlife.. Educate your friends and neighbors about how they can help. Share this page!


4 thoughts on “10 Ways YOU can Help Turtles in YOUR Neighborhood

  1. KELLY

    Thank you for the work you do. I just rescued a beautiful turtle from the middle of the road, took him or her in the direction he was headed.

  2. Swiet Acres

    Our family always stops to help turtles cross the roads safely. I have brought one of two back to our land in the country to be released when they are found in town on busy roads and there is clear concern for their future safety. We have wild blueberry bushes and a few planted ones as well. I would love more information on native plants that benefit turtles. I have a few azaleas and an apple & pear tree that the native deer and squirrels enjoy eating and would like to know what the turtles enjoy. Thank you for looking out and caring for them.

    1. Shelley Whittington Post author

      Thank you forlooking out for our native turtles. With all the habitat destruction, private property will be their last strong hold in the State of Virginia, so we can all help by creating habitat on our property.. it sounds like you have a great place.. Stick piles and leaves are also an important feature. I do have a simple handout about planting natives that benefit turtles I will try to get on the site soon. Meanwhile just know any native plant that produces berries not only feeds birds, but provides food and shelter for box turtles.. Keep up the good work!


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