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Diamondback Terrapins are the gem of all turtles

Two Diamondback terrapins move around inside boxes waiting for care at the Cape Wildlife Center in Barnstable, Cape Cod, Massachusetts on May 16, 2023. Beginning in January 2019, the Cape Wildlife Center becomes a program of New England Wildlife Centers. The 5-acre facility located in Barnstable, Massachusetts, serves as the Cape Cod branch of the organization. The local community is provided with the free veterinary wildlife care model and care-based education centers.
Lauren Owens Lambert
/
AFP via Getty Images
Two Diamondback terrapins move around inside boxes waiting for care at the Cape Wildlife Center in Barnstable, Cape Cod, Massachusetts on May 16, 2023. Beginning in January 2019, the Cape Wildlife Center becomes a program of New England Wildlife Centers. The 5-acre facility located in Barnstable, Massachusetts, serves as the Cape Cod branch of the organization. The local community is provided with the free veterinary wildlife care model and care-based education centers.

Diamondback terrapins, a species of small turtle along the coastline and marsh of Long Island Sound were once near extinction, but they’ve made a great comeback in our state.

This special species was once hunted to make turtle soup, to the point that there were no terrapins left in Sound. Now that hunting the terrapins has become illegal, they have started to return.

This tenacious little guy is the only turtle that lives in brackish waters - a mix of fresh and saltwater. And we are right in the middle of their migratory season. This is the time when they are especially vulnerable to being run over when they cross the road.

Preserving their population is no easy task. Nature centers around our state are looking for volunteers and citizen scientists to help track the local terrapin population in our state.

Have you seen a terrapin where you live?

GUESTS:

Dive into all of the nautical themed stories airing this week on Connecticut Public's original talk shows by visiting ctpublic.org/nautiweek.

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Tess is a senior producer for Connecticut Public news-talk show Where We Live. She enjoys hiking Connecticut's many trails and little peaks, gardening and writing in her seven journals.
Catherine is the Host of Connecticut Public’s morning talk show and podcast, Where We Live. Catherine and the WWL team focus on going beyond the headlines to bring in meaningful conversations that put Connecticut in context.