Turtles of Cape Cod Field School 2010: Day Two

Afternoon – Terrapin Juveniles in Loagy  Bay

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Six-Year-Old Juvenile Female Terrapin 

In the afternoon, Turtles of Cape Cod Field School participants launched kayaks and canoes into Loagy Bay in search of juvenile diamondback terrapins.  Threatening heavy winds held off and the day proved perfect for turtles and turtlers.  Four young terrapins were netted from the shallows at the edge of Loagy Bay.  In addition, students spotted many small, silver dollar sized juveniles along the salt marsh rim of Loagy Bay that may represent the hiding place for terrapins during their “Lost Years.”

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 Field School Arrives on Mill Hill Island in Loagy Bay

After capturing four young turtles with hand nets from kayaks, field school participants paddled eastward to Mill Hill Island to search for signs of nesting.  In this area where terrapin nests had been documented in 2000 and 2001, they discovered more than five fox dens, several of which had been recently active.  No active terrapin nests were observed.

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 Turtles of Cape Cod Field School Flotilla

 Kayaks and canoes offered many choices for participants to experience a completely different aspect of turtle research.  With Loagy Bay water temperatures soaring, terrapins moved wtih the quickness and speed of a submerged race car.

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 Dennis Murley Oversees the Flotilla

Mass Audubon Naturalist Dennis Murley oversaw the motley flotilla of kayaks and canoes to ensure that everyone stayed safe while enjoying a great natural experience.

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Field School Participants on the Lieutenant Island Bridge

After processing and documenting four captured terrapins, several of the team relaxed on the iconic Lieutenant Island Bridge for a group photograph … with one of the turtles, of course.  All four terrapins were released back into Loagy Bay under the bridge.

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