April Director’s Message: A Chance to Save Terrapin Nesting Habitat Forever

 

If you live in Eastham or you love terrapins, then we need your help!

The sanctuary is part of a local effort to acquire a rare parcel of upland in Eastham. It’s not only unspoiled and beautiful, but it’s of great ecological value to state threatened diamondback terrapins. It’s known as Terrapin Cove.

 

Turtle Garden at Terrapin Cove

Turtle Garden at Terrapin Cove

 

 A case statement is available on the sanctuary’s website, but beyond that material, why do this?

1. Terrapin Cove is one of only a handful of sites where terrapins can nest without having to cross a road. No matter how many terrapin eggs successfully hatch and the hatchlings make it to Rock Harbor Creek, Bea’s River, or First Encounter Marsh too many female terrapins are getting run over when they cross roads to find suitable upland nesting sites. This species will go extinct in Eastham if we can’t preserve upland nesting areas adjacent to the marshes where the turtles live. This is one site we can preserve forever by approving its purchase at Town Meeting.

 

2. This site is climate change-proof. Some terrapins nest on the First Encounter barrier beach, but as sea level rises and the beach is starved for sand and flooded more and more often, the terrapins will no longer be able to nest there. Then where will they go? Terrapin Cove has lots of elevation and will be there for terrapins forever. Please help by donating to our $25,000 challenge. Your donation will be matched.

 

3. This land will be there forever, owned by the Town of Eastham, with a conservation restriction held by the Eastham Conservation Foundation and Mass Audubon, and managed by staff and volunteers from Mass. Audubon’s Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.

 

Any Eastham resident interested in supporting this initiative is invited to one of two Open Houses planned at the site on April 25 and May 2 from 4-6 p.m.

 

Thank you in advance for your help.

 

Bob Prescott
Director, Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary

A "pipping" hatchling greets world

A “pipping” hatchling greets world

 

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