Conserve Wildlife Blog

Archive for the ‘Reptiles’ Category

The Terrapin’s Troubles, State of Change Podcast, Episode 4

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020

The diamondback terrapin is one of the most beloved species of New Jersey’s coastal salt marshes. Their popularity has not protected them from the rapid development of our coast however, and climate change is calling their future into question. 

Terrapin and human interaction has been fraught with peril for the turtles for a long time. They used to be considered a delicacy and were almost wiped by the 1920s when, in an odd turn of events, they were saved by prohibition. Turns out that once terrapin stew no longer featured copious amounts of alcohol, people noticed they did not, in fact, taste very good. 

The fourth episode of our podcast, State of Change, “The Terrapin’s Troubles” features John Wnek, Project Terrapin coordinator and supervisor and researcher at the Marine Academy of Technology and Environmental Science (MATES), and Ben Wurst, Conserve Wildlife Foundation (CWF) habitat program manager.

(more…)

Giving Back to Great Bay Terrapins

Monday, November 25th, 2019

CWF partners with NJ Fish & Wildlife to enhance habitat for terrapins in Little Egg Harbor

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

A female terrapin nesting along Great Bay Blvd.

Northern diamondback terrapins are a coast hugging, saltmarsh living, shellfish eating, aquatic turtle. Their ultimate survival depends on the ability of adult females to safely access nesting areas during summer months. Since 2010 CWF has worked to document and reduce roadkills of terrapins on roads in southern Ocean and northern Atlantic Counties. 

(more…)

The Celery Farm and Beyond: How to Rescue Box (and other) Turtles

Thursday, September 26th, 2019

Once a common sight in New Jersey backyards, the box turtle is now a species of special concern – that is, a species that “warrants special attention because of some evidence of decline, inherent vulnerability to environmental deterioration, or habitat modification that would result in their becoming a Threatened species.”

(more…)

Public Participation Key to Protect Terrapins on Roads

Wednesday, June 12th, 2019

Local residents and visitors in coastal areas urged to drive carefully during summer months.

by Ben Wurst, Habitat Program Manager

To cross or not to cross? Roads are barriers to wildlife, like this adult female northern diamondback terrapin.

This year marks nine years since we began efforts to document and reduce roadkills of N. diamondback terrapins in S. Ocean and N. Atlantic Counties within the Barnegat and Great Bay Watersheds. Our Great Bay Terrapin Project was centered around Great Bay Blvd. or Seven Bridges Road, a long saltmarsh access road where many adult female terrapins enter the roadway while seeking nest sites.

(more…)

Celery Farm and Beyond: Rescuing a Few Baby Terrapins

Thursday, May 30th, 2019
Photo by Jim Wright

While out on a drive along Delaware Bay friend of Conserve Wildlife Foundation Jim Wright has an unplanned encounter with our biologist Larissa Smith and several baby terrapins.

On his blog Jim says “(Larissa) explained that these tiny terrapins cross this road every late May. We helped save four of the little turtles — including three that would have likely been crushed by a giant tractor-trailer headed for a marina.  Alas, we found a few crushed little guys on the way.”

(more…)