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Turtley awesome nesting news

June 9, 2022

It’s nesting time for Gresham’s western painted turtles.

A baby western painted turtle is safely relocated in Gresham.“Our native turtles are on the move in May and June, seeking sunny south-facing slopes with loose soil to lay their eggs,” says Kathy Majidi, Natural Resources Program Manager, Environmental Services. “It’s exciting.”

It’s also a vulnerable time for female turtles as they migrate out of the safety of their wetlands to find a nesting site. “These are stressed at-risk mama turtles sort of the equivalent of a woman in labor,” Majidi explains. 

Turtle tips

What you can do to help:

  • Do not interrupt this important annual journey by attempting to play with the turtle or take a turtle home. These turtles are protected by state law and cannot be kept as pets.
  • Watch for turtles in roadways; call 503-618-2525 to report a mama turtle stuck in the roadway between curbs.
  • If you can safely stop your vehicle, please consider moving it to the road shoulder in the direction it was facing. (Avoid a bite by picking it up by the sides of the shell.)
  • Try to keep dogs away from migrating turtles.

A western painted turtle swims in Gresham headwaters.

City of Gresham Natural Resources staff replace the turtle sunning platforms on a local waterway.Photo caption: City of Gresham Natural Resources staff replace the turtle sunning platforms on a local waterway. The new platforms, built by students at Springwater High School, have ramps that make it easier for the turtles to scale the platforms. The old ramps were old and worn out.

Photo below: A western painted turtle basks in the sunshine at a Gresham wetland.
A western painted turtle basking in a Gresham wetland area.

A good sign

“Nesting turtles are a sign of a healthy ecosystem,” says Majidi, noting the species has declined all over western Oregon

Our Natural Resources staff protect native habitats and species while restoring natural areas in the city

Learn more about the Natural Resources Program.