Friday, June 12, 2015

Diamondback Terrapins get help

Meet a Diamondback Terrapin. Doesn’t she have a sweet face? Why do I say she? Keep reading.

 I have been following the valiant efforts to help these special turtles headed up by our own Georgia Sea Turtle Center (GSTC). We learn a lot more about sea turtles and other turtles because the GSTC is working to save these animals since 2007.

Terrapin laying her eggs
What make Diamondback Terrapin special? They are the only turtle that live in the salt marsh. But Terrapins have a problem. From late April through July, female terrapins are coming out of the marsh to find that high ground to lay their egg. Earlier I ask the question why she, well most of these terrapins we see are female. There is a major problem for these ladies terrapins is the highest places are our roads.

For several years, the GSTC has been studying this problem, and they have made some progress.

Becca and her team showing Jekyll visitor the Terrapins
Meet Becca, you will see her out on the Jekyll Island causeway working on helping these ladies out. GSTC put up caution signs along the causeway. The signs at the beginning and end of the causeway have flashing lights. Those lights flash around high tide when these terrapins are most likely to cross the road. It signals us to slow down and watch for them. Still some terrapins get hurt. Becca is out there to help. The one she can help safely across the road will never know they were in danger. The ones that get run over but are still alive, she takes them to the center where they try and save them. If they cannot be saved, the eggs are taken and put in an incubator. The hatched Terrapins will be released back into the marsh when they are ready. It is a busy time right now for Becca and her team. They are out every day.

Becca also is tracking these terrapins.
She is putting notches or recording the notches, she finds on the Terrapins. We learn so much about these terrapins because of the work of the GSTC.

this Terrapin was run over  but was treated by GSTC and released
Here are two different Terrapins that were helped across the road.  One had already be hit and treated at the Center and the other had been bitten by something and escaped.  But look at how beautifully marked she is.
something bite this terrapin
Thank you Georgia Sea Turtle Center. If you are anywhere on the southeast Atlantic coast, please slow down let all help these fertile turtles on the go.

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