The Terrapin Fence Has Been Replaced

The “fence” along route 1 is for the Diamondback terrapins

When the terrapin fence was first replaced this year, many people saw it for the first time. Social media went a little nuts waning to know why such a short dune fence was installed along route 1. Some of the answers were priceless.
Usually the terrapin fence is covered with black fabric and is harder to see along the edge of route 1 on the bayside.
That is by design, to protect Diamond Back Terrapins.

terrapin fence, route 1, diamond back terrapin hunting season
The new terrapin fence getting its fabric covering

Diamondback terrapins live in the inland bays. Their entire lives. They look for sandy areas to nest. The fence keeps them from walking across route 1. They can turn sideways, and fit between the slats, and can easily climb it if they see open areas on the other side. The fabric stops their view and their attempts to fit between the slats.

terrapin fence, route 1, diamond back terrapin hunting season
Silt fabric folded in half stapled to the fencing

This year, the entire fence line has been replaced. New cedar posts were driven in. Snow fencing was cut in half and attached to it, then the entire length gets fabric stapled to it. Usually the fabric on the terrapin fence is just repaired each year before nesting season starts.

terrapin fence, route 1, diamond back terrapin hunting season
The terrapin fence getting its fabric covering
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Some diamondbacks that stayed in their nests over the winter are already emerging and heading towards the bays. In a month or two females will come out and find places to dig nests. Some hatchlings will emerge this year, others will overwinter until next year.

terrapin fence, route 1, diamond back terrapin hunting season
Speaking of sore thumbs … this is what happens when you staple the fabric to your thumb and the fence.

Please be mindful of the terrapins you do see trying to cross route 1. There are “breaks” in the fence line due to private property and leases. These areas are open and the Diamondback terrapins can move through them easily.
Terrapins are the only turtles you can turn around and put back behind the fabric fence (bay side) if safe to do so. Meanwhile, all other turtles can be assisted across the road if safe. Always put a turtle on the side of the road it was headed towards. So that they may continue on their journey. Some turtles live in a very small area, do not remove them from the area.

Did you know there is a Diamond Back terrapin hunting season in Delaware? It is from September 1st to November 15th. Apparently no one has gotten a license for this for decades. Delaware Wildlife Hunting Code Seasons. |
4.16 Terrapin.
4.16.1 Season. It shall be unlawful for any person to hunt for diamondback terrapin during any period of the year, except between and including September 1 and November 15.
4.16.2 Limit. It shall be unlawful for any person to take more than four (4) diamondback terrapin in any one day.

diamondback terrapin, DBT, , Delaware Council of Wildlife Rehabilitation and Education, sea turtles, atlantic ocean,
Diamondback Terrapin in Delaware Seashore State Park

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