Hatchling Head Start Program
Diamondback terrapin conservation is an important means to maintain populations of terrapins across their range. Head starting hatchlings is a drastic conservation measure and should only be considered when populations are in decline. At Island Beach State Park and N. Sedge Island, we have been working with terrapins the past 17 years and have documented a decline in population. Our hatchling head start program provide classrooms with an opportunity to help ensure terrapin population stability in our study area as well as provide an opportunity for stewardship.
Because we are working in the Barnegat Bay Estuary, we will provide hatchlings to schools in the local area first and to our first head start schools that were a part of this program. The hatchlings are from clutches that hatch later in the season, thus giving them a chance to increase survivorship. All hatchlings that are released are marked with a year notch code to denote regular hatchling release during the summer versus those head started and released in the spring (May of the following year). If interested please see the documents for care and the agreement that is required for schools to participate. Project Terrapin is a research, conservation and education initiative of the MATES School and a volunteer project. A MATES Project Terrapin student member will serve as a liaison (hatchling ambassador) to our head start schools.
The following schools are part of our 2018-2019 program and released terrapins in the spring 2019...
All Saints Regional Catholic School
Barnegat High School
Bass River Elementary School
Beach Haven Elementary School
Berkeley Township Elementary School
Brackman Middle School
Central Regional High School
George Washington Middle School
HM Potter Elementary School
Lacey Middle School
Madison School District
Mater Dei High School
Millstone Middle School
Montgomery School District
Priff Elementary School (Waretown)
Rumson High School
St. Joseph's University