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Saturday, June 22: Stone Zoo will close at 3pm (last tickets sold at 2pm) in preparation for our event, A Wild Affair. Please plan your visit accordingly!

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Diamondback terrapin

Diamondback Terrapin Conservation

In partnership with MassWildlife and others, Zoo New England is embarking on an effort to monitor and protect the threatened diamondback terrapin, a saltwater turtle, in Buzzards Bay, MA.

Diamondback terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin) are one of the very few reptiles to exclusively inhabit salt marshes and estuaries, habitats that are especially vulnerable to climate-change induced sea level rise. Terrapins are further threatened by development, pollution, road mortality, and fishing/crabbing bycatch. Terrapins have been identified as a Regional Species of Greatest Conservation Need in the Northeastern United States and are considered Threatened in Massachusetts (the northern limit of the species’ range).

This project, in partnership with MA Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program (NHESP), has three main goals. The first is to assess the current, baseline status of terrapins through the entire Buzzards Bay estuary in southeastern Massachusetts and establish a framework for long-term monitoring. The second is to identify and prioritize conservation needs at each site. The third goal is to expand upon conservation initiatives already being undertaken by local conservation partners. Other partners on this project include Mass Audubon and New England Coastal Wildlife Alliance (NECWA).

➤ Check out the latest turtle tales from our field conservation blog.