The Barnstable Diamondback Terrapin Headstart Program was undoubtedly successful
this year and
culminated in June with the release of 44 young diamondbacks over a
10 day period. After hatching in the fall each turtle was cared for over the
winter by schools, libraries, and community based organizations throughout
Barnstable and Sandwich. The goal of the program was simple - to increase the
size of each hatchling and in doing so increase their chances of survival.
Providing this “headstart” is significant because diamondback terrapin turtles
are listed by the State of Massachusetts as threatened and therefore in need of
aid to increase their population.
Releasing the turtles was bittersweet as hundreds of young people said goodbye
to their reptile classmates. Students shared their experiences, read poems, and
waved as the terrapins were placed one by one back in their natural environment,
Sandy Neck’s Great Marsh. Thank you, headstarters, for a job well done! Your
turtle friends are on a grand adventure.