DUPAGE COUNTY - As the weather warms, the DuPage Forest Preserve District is warning drivers to be on the lookout for turtles on the roads.
Between April and October, turtles cross roads in search of water, food, mates or nests. Crossings of females increase from mid-May to mid-July as they make their way to and from nesting sites.
"Some turtles must travel up to a mile to find the right conditions," district ecologist Dan Thompson said in a statement.
The loss of one adult turtle can be significant because at least 90% of adults must survive each year to sustain a population. If the rate drops below this number, the population will go into decline.
"Car horns and flashing lights will have no effect on turtles," Thompson said. "They simply can’t move any faster to get out of the way. Drivers need to pay attention and do what they can to avoid hitting these animals."
Officials say roads near lakes, ponds and marshes can be turtle-crossing hotspots, and greater care is needed when driving through those areas.