Diamondback terrapins are turtles that inhabit estuaries along the east and Gulf coasts of the United States. They range from Cape Cod, Massachusetts to northern Mexico. Terrapins were harvested in the late 1800’s through the early 1900’s as a food source with a high demand leading to reductions in their populations across their range. In the 1930’s, terrapins became less desirable food sources and populations increased in areas with good habitat, but not much is known about populations in certain areas. What make terrapins so interesting are their markings, which are highly variable and prominent. Reasons for the variation include genetic diversity and some variations in their patterns could be linked to environmental conditions.
<p>LEARNING MORE THROUGH
The goal is to find out more about dia-
mondback terrapin ecology, life history and
conservation methods. Education is an inte-
gral part of the program. Teachers, stu-
dents and volunteers participate in working
with us in meeting these goals. Project ter-
rapin includes the following research objec-
tives in conjunction with scientists at
Drexel University, PA:
Mark and recapture of terrapins.
Study nesting terrapins and their habi-
Measure nest conditions like tempera-
ture, moisture and soil type.
Educate others about the biology, life
history and conservation of terrapins.
Promote the conservation of terrapins
using current scientific
the Diamondback Terrapin
Working Group (DTWG).
Help Us to Learn More About
Terrapins at Barnegat Bay
Help support Project Terrapin by becoming a
member of our terrapin team.
The Marine Academy of Technology and
Environmental Science (MATES) of the Ocean
County Vocational Technical School District
is working along with scientists at Drexel
University, PA & other supporters.
You can get involved by doing one or more of
Providing volunteer research time on
the project in the field
Assisting with obtaining donations of
materials and supplies
Helping to conduct surveys and
Check out our website at
You could directly contact us via e-mail at
The following are supporters of terrapin re-
search, education and conservation at
Barnegat Bay, New Jersey:
Project Terrapin is a research
and education initiative of the
Marine Academy of Technology
and Environmental Science
(MATES), New Jersey focusing on
Barnegat Bay, New Jersey.
Drawing by Laura Barry, class of ‘08 of the Marine
Academy of Tech