PORTLAND, Maine — Maine motorists are familiar with moose and deer crossing signs. In a few southern Maine towns, the state will be installing turtle crossing signs.

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and The Nature Conservancy say the road signs aim to warn motorists of endangered turtle road crossing locations in Wells, South Berwick and York with the hope of reducing road deaths of two of the state’s rarest species.

Spotted and Blanding’s turtles are both protected under Maine’s Endangered Species Act, and late May to early July is the time when females undertake risky overland forays to reach nesting areas.

MDIF&W asks motorists encountering roadside turtle signs reduce their speed and increase their vigilance for potential road-crossing turtles.