Conserve Wildlife Blog

Posts Tagged ‘turtle’

Gardening for Terrapins

Monday, October 9th, 2023

by Ben Wurst / Senior Wildlife Biologist

Work on this project is done under NJDEP Fish & Wildlife Scientific Collecting Permit SC2023048

When we founded the Great Bay Terrapin Project, our goal was to reduce roadkills of adult female northern diamondback terrapins. This was largely due to personal observations of multiple roadkills during the summer months along roads in Little Egg Harbor Township and past research which accounted for a large number of adults DOR (dead on road). Since 2010, we’ve been able to cut the historic roadkill rate in half, all thanks to our devoted volunteers who patrol area roads and raise awareness for them! This allows adults to grow larger and live longer lives, which helps to ensure their long term survival.


The Black Market for Terrapins is Thriving

Wednesday, June 21st, 2023

by Ben Wurst, Senior Wildlife Biologist

Kelly Scott, Resource Interpretive Specialist 3, NJ State Park Service holds Bayley before releasing her into the wild.

This past Monday I joined several partners to release a very special northern diamondback terrapin back into the wild. This adult female terrapin had been illegally collected and sold into the black market pet trade. Over the past couple years we have been working on a plan to get her back the wild.

Each of these partners, including Dr. John Wnek, MATES/Project Terrapin, Kelly Scott, NJ State Park Service, Brian Zarate, NJDEP Fish & Wildlife played an important role in her successful release (you can read about each of their roles in a story by Dr. Wnek below). We gathered in the parking lot of a former marina which CWF & NJDEP Fish & Wildlife converted into suitable nesting habitat for female terrapins. For all of us, I think it’s safe to say that it was bittersweet to see her swim off into the brackish water. She was home.


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.”


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.


Skylands Visitor: Rare Herps

Tuesday, April 9th, 2019

Story by: Allegra Mitchell, CWF Biologist

Bog turtle. Photo: Brian Zarate

Conserve Wildlife Foundation biologist Allegra Mitchell recently wrote about rare herps for Skylands Visitor’s website. Allegra takes you on a tour through the sometimes weird, always wonderful world of amphibians and reptiles.

As the season eases into milder temperatures at the onset of spring, all manner of creatures stretch their bodies and move more freely, searching for food and mates while they patrol their home turfs. Among these creatures are some of the most rare, interesting, and beautiful animals in the Garden State. Though they often go unnoticed or are misunderstood, reptiles and amphibians are vital to the balance of our fragile ecosystems—and some of them are in pretty big trouble. Continue reading on