The Bourne Recreation Department is hosting a program titled “Learning About Diamondback Terrapins: Marsh Turtles in Our Neighborhood” on Friday, November 24, from 2 to 3 PM in Bourne Community Building Room 1.
The program will be presented by Carol (Krill) Carson, a marine biologist and president of the New England Coastal Wildlife Alliance (NECWA).
This free, family-friendly event will focus on the diamondback terrapin, a threatened species of marsh turtle that inhabits the Bourne area.
Ms. Carson will showcase slides and videos of terrapins, as well as the rescue and research efforts conducted by NECWA in the Bourne area.
Attendees will have the opportunity to view marine artifacts such as turtle shells, and there will be engaging arts and craft activities for the entire family to enjoy.
The event aims to educate participants on how they can contribute to the protection of terrapins and the marshes they inhabit.
NECWA is a volunteer-based nonprofit organization located in Southcoast Massachusetts.
The program is made possible through funding from the Bourne Cultural Council, a local agency supported by the Mass Cultural Council.
Where Do Diamondback Terrapins Live?
Diamondback terrapins have specific water requirements that differ from many other aquatic species.
These turtles need salty water to thrive, even in captivity, and cannot survive in just any natural water body but require sources that meet their desired water salinity.
In the wild, diamondback terrapins inhabit brackish water environments, including coastal salt marshes, tidal creeks, wetlands, mangrove swamps, and estuaries.
They also make their habitat in islands, bay rivers, beachy shores, and mudflats.
It’s important to note that the water requirements of diamondback terrapins do not involve ocean-level salinity but rather a level between that of seawater and freshwater.
Maintaining the proper water salinity is crucial even when raising these terrapins in captivity, as they may develop shell rot and other skin-related diseases without access to salty water.
Additionally, diamondback terrapins require fresh water for drinking, so they select a brackish water source for living and ensure access to a freshwater source.
When in captivity, experts recommend following the 6-1 days rule, where terrapins are kept in salty water for 5-6 days and freshwater for 1 day.
Diamondback terrapins have a high tolerance for brackish water, and even hatchlings require salty water to thrive.
In Connecticut, an unusual behavior has been observed among diamondback terrapins, as some turtles swim to the disposal area of a power station situated at the Connecticut shoreline, where they enjoy the warm water discharge despite the pollution in the water.
Furthermore, like many other species, diamondback terrapins hibernate during cold weather, choosing a muddy area for months-long sleep during that time. Learn more here, Where Do Diamondback Terrapins Live?