Phillips Wharf Environmental Center staff recently released four juvenile diamondback terrapins along Black Walnut Cove on Tilghman Island. The baby terrapins were rehabilitated at PWEC over this past year, after being rescued from harmful conditions in the local area.
Native to the Chesapeake Bay region, diamondback terrapins are classified as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Newly hatched terrapins are roughly the size of a quarter, and are often preyed upon before they have the chance to reach adulthood. Other threats include habitat loss, and impacts from human recreation such as drowning in crab traps. Hatchlings are also susceptible to a number of health issues such as respiratory infections and an occasional eye infection.
“Phillips Wharf was able to treat these conditions in the juveniles and rehabilitate them to a size that would be favorable for their survival in the wild, which is approximately three times the size of when they were brought in,” said PWEC Aquaria Manager Sarah Moffat. “Another juvenile terrapin release is planned for fall 2020 for the five hatchlings still in our care.”
Phillips Wharf Environmental Center is currently accepting donations and sponsorships for their Terrapin and Turtle Rehab efforts. These donations help fund the care needed for the terrapins while at the center—including medical treatments and prepared diets—as well as for habitat improvement projects, including PWEC’s outdoor terrapin and turtle habitat center.
Phillips Wharf Environmental Center’s mission is to encourage, educate, and engage Chesapeake Bay stewards of all ages through interactive experiences showcasing the Bay’s ecosystem and its inhabitants. To become a supporter of PWEC’s Terrapin and Turtle Rehab program, contact PWEC Aquaria Manager Sarah Moffatat 410-886-9200 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.