The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) received more than 300 reports of turtle sightings in 2022, including many impressive photos and videos. MPRB hopes to receive even more this year. Any and all reports help efforts to protect these animals at critical locations in the park system. Turtles are most vulnerable in springtime and when moving about on land.
Migrations of both adult turtles and tiny hatchlings can take them across roads and paths.
In 2021, dead turtles accounted for 10 percent of reported sightings; among the dead turtles, more than 90 percent were spotted in roadways.
Adults are leaving the water to find summer habitat or suitable nesting spots on land. Snapping and painted turtles, the most common species in Minneapolis, may migrate up to a mile to nest.
Meanwhile, hatchlings are emerging from their nests on land to make their way to water. These spring hatchlings have waited all winter in the nest (!) to make this journey; in fall, eggs laid in the spring yield a new wave of hatchlings heading to water.
Even softshell turtles, which nest on beaches or other land close to water, can still be vulnerable to predators, including domestic dogs (one reason they must be leashed).
Go to bit.ly/ReportATurtle to report turtles within Minneapolis. Report turtle sightings elsewhere at HerpMapper. Include images if at all possible: They help verify turtle species and activities.
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