Saturday, July 4, 2015

Diamondback Terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin)

Diamondback Terrapin
I am behind in writing my blogs.  I spent a morning photographing a nesting Killdeer.  Later in the day my colleague Doug led a Beach ramble for a neighbors, family.  We met up with Allens pond interns who are observing and counting diamondback terrapins in the area.  They have installed some traps and Allens Pond to capture the terrapins, which must be checked daily and also try to locate nests.  Because diamondback terrapins nests are subject to predication by raccoons, foxes and gulls just to name a few.  Nest that are located at Allens Pond, the eggs are harvested and Don Lewis hatches them at his retreat, returning the hatchlings back into their area where they came from.

Terrapin Traps
The interns found one female diamondback terrapin, but could not locate a nest, even with Don helping them.  The ramble family had a close look at a diamondback terrapin and watched it being released back into the wild.  The terrapin once.  It entered the water swam out of sight extremely fast.

Don and Interns Looking for Terrapin Nest
Diamondback Terrapin
Intern Showing the Terrapin to the Group
Terrapin on Its Way Back into Allens Pond
Terrapin on Its Way Back into Allens Pond
Terrapins Swimming Away
In Massachusetts, diamondback terrapins are a protected species.  If you are out in the wild and come across a diamondback terrapin or a nest, please notify the Turtle Journal at 508-274-5108.  They are always ready to respond.

Diamondback terrapins range from Cape Cod down through Corpus Christi, Texas, and including the Florida Keys.  They live in the coastal salt marshes, estuaries and tidal creeks.  Terrapins are adapted to survive in varying salinities.  Terrapins are extremely's strong swimmers with strong the web time feet and they have strong jaws for crushing shells or praise such as clams and snails.

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