Depredated Terrapin Nests on South Coast

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 Sue Wieber Nourse Checks SouthCoast Nest Sites

More heat, more thunderstorms, more turtle nests … it must be summer on the south coast of New England.  The Turtle Journal team and volunteers investigated diamondback terrapin nesting sites from Outer Cape Cod to the Taunton River today.  A visitor to Lieutenant Island in South Wellfleet called the Mass Audubon Sanctuary to report that a terrapin had nested in the middle of Way 100 (Marsh Road), a one-lane dirt road along the south side of the island that has become one of the densest nesting locations in all of New England.  Carl Brodeur, Turtle Journal’s eyes and ears on the Taunton River, called to report he had captured a female on a nesting run at Assonet Bay Shores Beach in Freetown and that perhaps a dozen terrapins had nested the previous day on the beach.  Unfortunately, most nests had been depredated overnight.

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 Freshly Depredated Terrapin Nest on Aucoot Cove

Sue Wieber Nourse and Don Lewis from Turtle Journal checked Aucoot Cove between Marion and Mattapoisett off Buzzards Bay this afternoon.  We found one freshly depredated nest with eleven still moist yolks.  Aucoot Cove serves as the largest nesting location that has been documented so far on the west bank of Buzzards Bay.

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Aucoot Cove Nest with 14 Depredated Eggs 

Another nest at the elbow of Aucoot Cove contained fourteen recently depredated eggs, probably consumed by predators last night.  We found no turtles either at Aucoot Cove or Hammetts Cove on the east side of Sippican Harbor, probably because heavy winds and storm clouds have taken command of the afternoon sky.  Severe thunderstorm alerts and a rare tornado warning are in effect.

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