Conserve Wildlife Blog

The End of Another Terrapin Season

September 2nd, 2014

An Intern’s Perspective

By Derek Noah, CWF Intern, Summer 2014

Derek Noah, CWF Intern, collecting patron surveys at Stone Harbor, New Jersey.

Derek Noah, CWF Intern Summer 2014, collecting patron surveys at Stone Harbor, New Jersey.

My name is Derek Noah, I was an intern this summer for Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey (CWF). I am a wildlife and nature enthusiast who likes to kayak, bike, and hike . I live in Monmouth County and I go to the beach during any extra time I have.

The Northern diamondback terrapin is a small to medium-sized species of turtle that lives in coastal salt marshes, including the marsh near the Stone Harbor Boulevard Causeway. Adult terrapins are commonly struck by vehicles while attempting to cross causeways, and terrapin eggs are eaten by raccoon and other mammalian predators. Currently, CWF’s Wildlife Biologist, Stephanie Egger, is working with other researchers and organizations on the best way to protect wildlife and satisfy people’s needs that visit, live, or work in coastal communities in New Jersey. I collected information from visitors, residents, and employees of Stone Harbor about their understanding and perception of terrapins and management of terrapins along roadways through a patron survey. I worked on this project in July and August and surveyed nearly 500 patrons! I conducted the surveys on the beach as well as local stores and shops. The survey introduced general questions of terrapins and ideas on how to limit terrapin road death through different road management practices.  The patron survey can be viewed here.

As a thank you for their participation each person surveyed received our newest “Be Terrapin Aware” decal and our “Be Terrapin Aware” Brochure.

"Be Terrapin Aware" decal to spread awareness and to thanks those who participated in the patron survey.

“Be Terrapin Aware” decal to spread awareness on terrapins and roads and as a thank you to those who participated in the patron survey.

The interaction I had with fellow wildlife supporters was so enlightening! Throughout this process I educated many people on the threats that terrapins face as well as ways that we can reduce their morality. I certainly enjoyed being at the beach all day but I also was able to be in such a beautiful town and area. There is nothing like New Jersey in the summer. The birds flying around me, the waves crashing in the background, and the sound of children and families enjoying themselves.

I attend Rutgers University as an Environmental Business Economics major and I hope to become an environmental consultant someday. I love wildlife and I will continue to pursue my passion for wildlife as I am planning to work on a research project this coming year on terrapins with CWF and other partners in New Jersey.

CWF hopes to continue these surveys efforts in other coastal communities in the future. CWF will have the results available from the survey in the fall.

 

***We would like to thank Avalon Campground, Absolutely Fish, Inc., and The Garden Green House in Nursery for their support of this project***

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2 Responses to “The End of Another Terrapin Season”

  1. Kathy H says:

    Great job Derek! Keep up the good work!

  2. stephanie.egger says:

    Thanks Derek for being an awesome intern! This project was a success because of your determination and enthusiasm!

 
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