Turtles of the Salt Marsh Presentation and Volunteer Opportunity

Presentation: Turtles of the Salt Marsh
300 x 250

When: Tuesday, May 07, 2013 from 6:30-7:30 pm
Where: Snow Library, Orleans (67 Main Street)
Guest Speaker: Bob Prescott, MA Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary Director
Sponsor: MA Audubon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary & OCT

Details: Something beautiful and unique lurks in the shallows of our salt marshes–the diamondback terrapin! The terrapin is the only species of turtle in the United States that makes its home in the brackish water of salt marshes and mangrove swamps. Our interactions with these secretive creatures are often limited to glimpses of their ornately speckled heads as they surface for air, or watching a female venture onto dry land to nest in early summer. They are also a threatened species in Massachusetts, which also accounts for their rarity; however, Wellfleet boasts a large population, and they can also be found in Pleasant Bay in Orleans.

Since 1980, Mass Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary has studied the terrapin population on the Outer Cape through a mark/recapture project and over 3000 individual turtles have been marked! More recently, the project has expanded to protect nests to prevent predators from getting at the eggs and hatchlings, and developing “turtle gardens” which encourages nesting. Volunteers are an important component of these projects.

This lecture by Bob Prescott, OCT Trustees and Mass Audubon Sanctuary Director, will cover the natural history of diamondback terrapins, and share what we have learned through local research projects. Details on how to get involved as a volunteer will also be provided.

This program is free and will be held at Snow Library in Orleans. Registration not required.