Diamondback Terrapins Nesting at Assonet Bay Shores off Taunton River

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Chris, Courtney, Sam & Abigail Brown & Friends

Diamondback terrapins in the Taunton River?  Twenty-five miles from open water and tucked into a small protected bay ten miles from the mouth of the Taunton River, we find an isolated population of threatened diamondback terrapins more than 25 miles its closest neighbor. 

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Assonet Bay Shores Beach Terrapin Nesting Site

Four years ago, Turtle Journal’s Don Lewis confirmed the existence of this terrapin population when he found forty hatched and depredated nests concentrated at Assonet Bay Shores beach on Wescott Island in Assonet Bay (see map above).  Since then, Turtle Journal has partnered with local resident volunteers to document these turtles.

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Carl Brodeur Proudly Shows Terrapin Eggs

Leading the investigative team in Assonet Bay is Carl Brodeur of Arborcare with Ropes ‘n Saddles who lives on Wescott Island and has been a powerful advocate within the community for diamondback terrapins as a bellwether species within the bay to reveal the state of the local environment.  Carl captured the first terrapin specimen in Assonet Bay and has been actively engaged in documenting this local population.

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Three Diamondback Terrapin Females at Assonet Bay Shores

On June 6th, Carl found three mature female terrapins coming ashore onto the beach at Assonet Bay Shores for a nesting run.  These beautiful turtles, all heavy with eggs, show the same general characteristics and size as terrapins found in Barrington, Rhode Island, the nearest known neighboring population 25 miles away … as well as those terrapins that have been observed in the estuaries of Buzzards Bay 40 miles to the southeast.

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Sam Brown Release Terrapin into Assonet Bay

The Brown Family (see photo at top of posting), friends of Carl Brodeur, had the great opportunity to release these magnificent diamondback terrapins back into the waters of Assonet Bay in Freetown, Massachusetts.  For more information on Assonet Bay terrapins, see Release of Little Dude and Three-Year-Old Finds First Terrapin of Season in Assonet Bay.

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