Visitors to Point Pelee National Park are getting an up-close view of snapping turtles.

The speed limit is reduced inside the park since the road leading through it is now a busy nesting ground for the creatures.

“We are tracking 20 to 30 of them and they are still coming out," says Tammy Dobbie, park ecologist.

Because of their proximity to the road, they're getting lots of attention.

“We used to think these signs were frivolous. To see them right under the sign is amazing," says park visitor Bonnie Graham.

Snapping turtles are rarely seen outside of their natural habitat, so getting a close view of one is special says Dobbie.

“They live in the marsh their whole lives and one of few times they have to come out of water, is to lay eggs,” she says.

They lay their eggs every June, over a very short period of time. Once the females find a spot to nest, they dig deep holes in the ground and one by one, they drop their eggs.

A snapping turtle could lay upwards of 60 eggs, but without protection each one is at risk. A nearby nest is proof of that. The leather shells of eggs that have been predated can be seen.

Park staff are closely monitoring every full nest in the park, covering each one with a cage to prevent animals from reaching them.

“We've been doing this since 2001 and we've protected thousands of turtles nestling,” says Dobbie.

There are seven species of turtles at Point Pelee park, six of them are at risk.

“Snapping turtles, blanding, stinkpot, map turtles - all of these have protection and are rare species in canada. They need our help,” says Dobbie.

Dobbie says turtles face many problems. Marshes are drying up so their habitat is disappearing. They are also susceptible to contaminants in their ecosystem. Traffic is an issue too.

Until this busy season is over, park officials want people to slow down because the turtles often make their way onto the road and about a dozen of them are killed every year because of it.

Pulling turtles to safety is also a big part of Dobbie's job this time of year.

“We are making sure hatchlings get out and get a chance,” says Dobbie. “They may get eaten by something, but at least they had a fighting chance.”