Team Terrapin

Are you…

  • Interested in volunteering outdoors?
  • Passionate about nature and conservation?
  • Looking for experience in wildlife field work?

Join Team Terrapin!

We are looking for dedicated team members who will help to monitor diamondback terrapin nesting sites on and near Big Talbot Island from April to October. This ongoing monitoring is crucial to the continued protection of this species in our region. No experience is required – only enthusiasm!

For more information and to join Team Terrapin, contact our Stewardship Coordinator, Emily Dunn (edunn@northfloridalandtrust.org).

 

What is a Diamondback Terrapin?

The diamondback terrapin is the only species of turtle in North America that lives in brackish water environments, like saltmarsh. They are easily recognized by the spiral patterns on their shells and dark spots on their bodies. Female terrapins lay multiple clutches of eggs each year, and prefer to nest in sandy areas, such as beaches and dunes, with little disturbance.

Diamondback terrapins depend heavily on the saltmarsh habitats and sandy beaches of northeast Florida in order to feed and lay eggs, but these areas are rapidly lost to human development. Terrapins also frequently get stuck in crab traps, and are unable to escape. These, among other threats, make continued monitoring and protection of these turtles crucial to their survival.

How can I help?

Report sightings. Have you spotted diamondback terrapins in your area? Contact us!

Use bycatch reduction devices (BRDs). These simple devices can be added to crab traps to prevent accidental trapping of terrapins – with no decrease in crabs! BRDs are available free of charge at many locations throughout northeast Florida; check the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission’s website for locations near you.

Use caution when driving. Female terrapins may cross roads in order to reach their nesting beach, and can easily escape the notice of drivers.

Support saltmarsh conservation. Protecting and preserving saltmarsh habitats is essential for the survival of diamondback terrapins, not to mention many other unique wildlife!

Join our team! Team Terrapin is a group of passionate volunteers that aid in diamondback terrapin monitoring on and around Big Talbot Island. Contact our Stewardship Coordinator, Emily Dunn (edunn@northfloridalandtrust.org) if you’d like to get involved!

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