Terrapin Hatchlings Are Ready for School!

It’s that time of the year again! Students from across the country are packing-up their backpacks and getting ready to go back to school. At the Aquarium, forty-five hatchling turtles are also getting ready for their first day at school.

terrapin hatchling

Through the Terrapins in the Classroom Program, hatchling diamondback terrapins are collected from Poplar Island in late summer and then placed in partner schools around the state. Students and teachers are charged with caring for the little turtle all school year. They collect growth data, observe behaviors, learn animal care techniques and research the natural history of the species. In late spring, the students release the terrapins back onto Poplar Island.

The hatchlings are quarter-sized right now, but throughout the year they will more than quadruple in size. Scientists are studying the impact of this ‘headstart’ on adult terrapin populations around Poplar Island.

The Terrapins in the Classroom Program provides a unique, hands-on opportunity for students to form a meaningful connection with an animal that lives in the Chesapeake Bay. As students wave goodbye to the terrapins, they begin to understand how they are connected to all aquatic animals and how their actions can impact the Chesapeake Bay.

This school year hundreds of students will do their part by helping to care for a terrapin in their classroom. You can do your part by planting a wetland, helping clean-up waterways, and practicing terrapin-safe crabbing!


4 Responses to “Terrapin Hatchlings Are Ready for School!”

  1. 1 Regina August 27, 2013 at 11:26 am

    My daughter’s class was lucky enough to care for 2 terrapins last school year. She came to love them and take care of them as their adopted mother. She was so sad to see them be released but understood that this is a part of life. The life lessons she learned from caring for the terrapins could not have been taught without this program. She still speaks of diamond and skittles and hopes they are doing well.

  2. 3 usfwsnortheastblog August 30, 2013 at 7:14 am

    That diamondback terrapin hatchling is our “squee” for the morning! We just put up a post about the terrapins at JFK airport, too! http://usfwsnortheast.wordpress.com/2013/08/30/why-does-the-terrapin-cross-the-runway/

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