Audubon Offers Turtle Releases
The big moment is almost here. Diamondback terrapin eggs rescued from golf course sand traps have been incubating in protected hatcheries for the last two to three months, and it’s nearly time for the hatchlings to emerge and be released into the marsh.
Skidaway Audubon’s annual turtle releases are scheduled for 4 p.m. on August 26 and September 9 and 23. There is a maximum of 50 attendees per session, and participants may only attend one of the three sessions due to the popularity of this event. Participants must preregister and be five years of age or older due to the terrapin’s status as a species of concern in Georgia. To preregister, visit skidawayaudubon.org/events.
Attendees will learn how volunteers carefully rescue the eggs from the golf courses and protect them from predators. They will also be able to observe how each terrapin is unique, understand the role that the terrapins play in protecting the salt marshes, and how they can break free of their shells once they are ready to hatch.
After the educational talk, participants will be instructed to release the newborn hatchlings gently into the marshes. The event takes place at Sunset Park (707 Landings Way South). Parking is limited, and masks and social distancing are advised for all unvaccinated attendees.
Years ago, diamondbacks were harvested by the hundreds of thousands for soups and as pets. To help restore the population, Skidaway Audubon’s Diamondback Terrapin project is carried out under the direction of UGA naturalist John Crawford and is licensed by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. The project is the largest of its kind along the nation’s East Coast and contributes to The Landings Club’s certification as an Audubon International Cooperative Environmental Sanctuary.
Skidaway Audubon’s mission is to enhance and conserve Skidaway Island’s natural environment. In addition to implementing a wide variety of projects, it strives to promote environmental awareness through education and outreach. For more information about Skidaway Audubon activities, visit SkidawayAudubon.org. Information also is available on the Friends of Skidaway Audubon Facebook page.
This article was originally published by The Landings Association on their website. Visit landings.org to read the original article. https://landings.org/news/2021/08/17/audubon-offers-turtle-releases