Snapping Turtle Crossing in Waterloo Recreation Area - Grass Lake, Michigan
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member Bon Echo
N 42° 19.726 W 084° 14.138
16T E 727763 N 4689981
Quick Description: Snapping turtle crossing the park road in the Portage Lake campground
Location: Michigan, United States
Date Posted: 12/2/2018 7:16:18 AM
Waymark Code: WMZMK8
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member DougK
Views: 12

Long Description:

While attending the annual Great Lakes Gathering letterboxing event and camping in the Portage Lake campground (late May 2016), we saw this large snapping turtle heading across the grass and then onto the park road. The turtle appeared to be slowly making its way from a forested area towards the lake - likely a female returning from laying eggs. It was late on a Friday afternoon and there was a lot of traffic on the park road. We didn't move the turtle but instead stood guard on the campground road until it was safely across.

Snapping turtle
Scientific name: Chelydra serpentina

What it looks like
The [Common] Snapping Turtle is Canada's largest freshwater turtle, reaching an average length of 20-36 cm and a weight of 4.5-16.0 kg. Snapping turtles have large black, olive or brown shells typically covered in algae. Their tails, which can be longer than their bodies, have dinosaur-like triangular crests along their length. Hatchlings are about the size of a loonie and are smaller and darker than adults, with pronounced ridges along the length of their shell.

What threatens it
It takes 15 to 20 years for a Snapping Turtle to reach maturity. As a result, adult mortality greatly affects the species' survival. During the summer, many turtles cross roads in search of mates, food and nest sites. This is risky for turtles as they are too slow to get out of the way of moving vehicles. Snapping turtles are also sometimes intentionally persecuted. Eggs in nests around urban and agricultural areas are subject to predators such as raccoons and striped skunks.

Source: Snapping Turtles
Species Link: [Web Link]

How often turtles cross:

Months most seen crossing: May - October

Visit Instructions:
Describe what happened. Example
"Mother Blanding had made her nest between the goldenrod and bluestem outside my window late last June.
By chance we were sitting on the porch when we noticed little blandings in the same location we had seen the mother take 2 months earlier."
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