Three-Year-Old Finds First Terrapin of the Season in Assonet Bay


Laurie Displays Terrapin Hatchling in Assonet Bay

(Photo Courtesy of Carl Brodeur)

The westernmost population of diamondback terrapins in Massachusetts was discovered by the Turtle Journal team a few years ago in Assonet Bay off the Taunton River in between Freetown and Berkeley.  Likely a small remnant or relic population in the now overly developed Taunton River estuary system, these terrapins may number less than 100 in total and have lost all connection with other terrapins along the Massachusetts coastline.

On Monday, the Turtle Journal’s ace reporter and researcher for the Assonet Bay system, Carl Brodeur of Arborcare with Ropes and Saddles, reported that three and a half-year-old Laurie Stonecypher found this adorable 2008 hatchling strolling along the road abutting Assonet Bay.  Terrapin hatchlings often spend their first winter burrowed upland rather than entering the salt marsh immediately after emerging from their eggs in the fall.  The later in the season the hatchlings are born, the more likely they will remain upland until the next spring.

Hats off to Laurie on her beautiful find.  I guess when you’re a turtle researcher it pays to be close to the earth.

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