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Diamondback Terrapin

Inland Bays Diamondback Terrapin

Diamondback Terrapin about to cross Route 1

Each year, in mid-May, just as people are heading for the beaches, unfortunately, so are the female terrapin. The terrapin lives in the Delaware Inland Bays, but the females lay their eggs in the soft sands of the beach dunes, and mid-May to mid-July is their nesting season.

Some are killed crossing Coastal Highway. Unfortunately, nearly all the terrapins that are killed are adult females. Because they can live for 25-30 years and can continue to reproduce for two decades, every female lost is also a loss of all her potential offspring. One solution is more sandy beach habitat on the Bays. But, these are becoming rarer and rarer as shorelines are hardened with rip rap and stone.

Inland Bays - tips on saving Diamondback Terrapins

Volunteer Coordinator Pat Drizd helping a terrapin across Route 1

Click for a Diamondback Terrapin Fact Sheet.