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Today is National Reptile Awareness Day, a day to draw attention to reptiles worldwide, the threats they face, and their importance to the ecosystems in which they live. The marshes around The Wetlands Institute are graced with the presence of a reptile near and dear to us: the Diamondback Terrapin.

Diamondback terrapins range up and down the US Atlantic coast from Cape Cod to the Florida Keys, and around the Gulf Coast to Texas (there’s even a small population on Bermuda). They are unique among North American turtles in that they live exclusively in the brackish waters of coastal wetlands, and they’ve developed specific adaptations to do so. This makes them especially vulnerable to habitat loss through coastal development – one of several threats they face. Others include drowning from accidental bycatch in active crab traps and “ghost” traps (crab traps that have been abandoned or lost) and road mortality as female terrapins cross roadways in search of nesting sites.

Here at The Wetlands Institute, we work tirelessly to study and conserve diamondback terrapins, and to educate our visitors about their critical role in our ecosystem and the need to protect them. You can help as well. By becoming a member of the Institute or making a donation, you can directly support our work on behalf of the terrapins. Together, we can help ensure a future for these wonderful turtles and the coastal habitat on which they depend.
#wetlandsinstitute #stoneharbornj #middletownshipnj #NationalReptileAwarenessDay #ReptileAwarenessDay #terrapin

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