Help preserve state’s turtles
Chances are, if you have been walking, biking or driving in Indiana, you have probably come across a turtle or two. Many of us find turtles to be fascinating creatures. They are most active in the late spring/summer/early fall, so from late March through October, having a turtle cross your path is not uncommon.
Unfortunately, some of these turtles are in trouble and need our help, or these encounters could become very rare.
According to the Department of Natural Resources, Indiana has 16 native species of turtles; several are endangered, and one of the more well-known species, the eastern box turtle, is protected. Eastern box turtle numbers are declining because of habitat destruction, collection and displacement by humans, and road mortality. It is illegal to collect them from the wild, yet many people still do it, unaware or uncaring of the damage they are doing to these fascinating animals. You are obviously doing a box turtle, or any turtle for that matter, a favor if you move them out of the road; the favor ends for that turtle when you take it home with you.
Box turtles spend the majority of their life in a very small range, and when displaced, will try desperately to return to it. Even if you release the turtle later, chances are it will be in a different location, and that is almost surely a death sentence. They may try to find their way back to their original area, crossing miles and multiple roads to get there, increasing the probability of being run over. If it is unable to find its way back, the turtle may be unable to survive. Any turtle taken out of the wild is one less turtle that can breed and sustain the population.
Please don’t remove turtles from their natural environments. If you have recently taken a turtle home and want to do the right thing, take the turtle back to where you found it, and place it safely out of harm’s way. If you decide you do want a turtle as a pet, please do your research first. Turtles, and other reptiles, are not easily kept pets, and they require a lot of special care.
Some turtles can easily live for 50 years or more, grow to be 12 inches long or more, need large enclosures, and specialized lighting and heat sources. So, having one as a pet is a big commitment. Look for a credible reptile rescue instead of buying a pet; like many shelter pets, there are many turtles and other reptiles that need homes.
How can you help turtles? Be on the look-out for them. They love mild, sunny weather, but are also often seen after it rains, especially if the sun comes out. If you see a turtle in the road, and it is safe to do so, move it to the side of the road in the direction it was headed (do not put yourself in danger).
Also, don’t throw anything out of your car window, even food or items you think are biodegradable. Discarded food attracts animals to the road, thus increasing their chances of being hit. Gum and cigarette butts can be deadly to birds and other animals. If you are looking to actively get involved, please find the Wabashiki Turtle Rescue page on Facebook to see how you can help the turtles of the Wabashiki wetlands, too many of whom are sadly run over on U.S. 40 (along with beavers, otters, muskrats and other animals).
Thank you in advance for helping preserve Indiana’s turtles.
— Ellen Lunsford
Help preserve state’s turtles
EDITORIAL: An event worth watching
Just across that invisible boundary between campus and city, knowledge, perspectives and — yes — opinions abound on topics of vital import to our lives in the 21st century.
READERS' FORUM: March 17, 2014
Indiana livestock industry threatens our water supply
Which direction is state moving?
EDITORIAL: Legislative session produced results both good and bad
The 2014 session of the Indiana General Assembly was gaveled to a close late Thursday after a flurry of activity produced a dizzying variety of legislative action. Within hours, the session results were being both praised and cursed, largely depending on political and ideological views of government’s place in the world.
FLASHPOINT: Energy bill a no-brainer target for Pence’s veto pen
Indiana has, for many years, wrestled with the question of what policy, if any, to pursue to advance new, alternative visions of how we deal with waste, move around and grow our food. Fortunately, we’ve seen some tangible signs of progress in the Indiana General Assembly with respect to recycling, mass transit and local food systems.
READERS' FORUM: March 16, 2014
• Time for change in assessor office
• Are Indiana’s chemical storage tanks safe?
• Voters of Indiana Thinking carefully about health care
• Put an end to costly primaries
• Founders understood representation rights
• What about bridge?
• Young people don’t know rules
• So many words, so little space
KIEL MAJEWSKI: Sexual violence demands the world’s action
I have a lot to learn in life, but I am convinced of this: The day men share power equally with women is the day we will see true peace in this world. The day women and girls are valued as much as men and boys, and are treated with the same respect as their male counterparts, is the day we will finally see healthy societies.
MARK BENNETT: All aboard!
Find me a George Mason University basketball T-shirt in Indiana.
EDITORIAL: Noteworthy in the news
In the competitive and highly entertaining world of collegiate athletics, Sunday is akin to a national holiday. At 6 p.m., the NCAA will announce the field and seedings of its 2014 Division I men’s basketball tournament.
RONN MOTT: One and done, 2014 style
Hoosiers, this time of the year, turn their minds and emotions to the grand old game of “hoops.”
EDITORIAL: Our children in poverty
An important gauge for measuring the long-term prospects of a community is the well-being of its children. For all the effort and progress Vigo County has made in rebuilding the economy and improving its quality of life, chronic problems with the welfare of its children still exist.
READERS' FORUM: March 14, 2014
• ISU officers should stay on campus
• Good reasons why guns are needed
• Salute to Jake
RONN MOTT: Ukraine 2
The situation in the Ukraine should let us know plainly, and openly, the old saying about a leopard never changing its spots is true. Vladimir Putin is a KGB officer, grew up a communist and, from all appearances, still believes like a communist.
EDITORIAL: Meth battle never ends
It’s been more than a decade since local police officials declared methamphetamine as “public enemy No. 1.”
READERS' FORUM: March 13, 2014
• Celebrating the Girl Scouts
• Challenging the politicians
EDITORIAL: Warm thoughts on a cool day (Part III)
• Resolving to praise ISU
• Right down our alley
- READERS' FORUM: March 12, 2014
RONN MOTT: SAWS
A few days ago we talked to John Anderson of the Greencastle Presbyterian Church. He’s the coordinator for a mission of the church that builds ramps and stairs for those who are physically handicapped in Putnam County.
EDITORIAL: Thinking warm thoughts (Part II of III)
• Renewing a local library commitment
LIZ CIANCONE: We’re not only ones ready for springtime
During the most recent of our numerous descents into polar temperatures, I was astounded to see a dozen or more robins up to their ankles in snow. They were fluffed out to about twice their normal size. I suppose that was an effort to provide a bit of feathered insulation against the cold.
READERS' FORUM: March 11, 2014
• Meat-free path to the fountain of youth
• Faulty point?
EDITORIAL: Warm thoughts on cool days (Part I of III)
• Something good’s brewing
• Y we can’t take it for granted
FLASHPOINT: Where Congress falls short, and where it doesn’t
At a public gathering the other day, someone asked me how I’d sum up my views on Congress. It was a good question because it forced me to step back from worrying about the current politics of Capitol Hill and take a longer view.
READERS' FORUM: March 10, 2014
• Our government’s heart and soul
• A plea for more give and take
MARK BENNETT: New public-access point begins quest to create more spots to experience river
Fairness holds no power over the Wabash River.
EDITORIAL: Ads on the sides of school buses? What have we come to?
Ads on the sides of school buses do not constitute a sign of the apocalypse. Western civilization will survive.
Flashpoint: President should stop Medicare Advantage cuts
Virtually all elected officials — Republicans and Democrats — share the goal of increasing access to affordable health insurance and helping families receive the best coverage to meet their specific needs.
Readers’ Forum: March 9, 2014
Mardi Gras great event for Swope
EPA regs will cause energy bills to soar
Please pray for Ukraine innocents
Sinful thinking on road to hell
Liberty — or licentiousness
People will not always agree
Botched chance at leadership
RONN MOTT: Radio now a long lost love
I fell in love with radio when I was 16, just a few short weeks before my 17th birthday. The man who did the deed and hired me was Adlai Ferguson.
EDITORIAL: Noteworthy in the news
Welcome to girls teams, fans
You can say that again
Reader Poll results
EDITORIAL: What do Sony cutbacks mean?
It is easy to understand why shivers run down local people’s spines whenever rumors hit the streets about Sony DADC’s plant on Terre Haute’s east side. With more than 1,400 people currently employed in Sony’s production and distribution facilities, the community has grown somewhat dependent on the economic stability Sony provides.
- More Opinion Headlines
- EDITORIAL: An event worth watching