Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Conservation News: Fregate Island Private

Endangered Baby Terrapin Found on Fregate Island

Fregate Island's ecology team members recently found a baby terrapin crossing the road. At only 3.1 cm long and 2.5 cm 
wide, this baby is a Seychelles Black Mud Terrapin which is critically endangered according to IUCN, mainly due to loss of habitat. 

It is one of the most precious species on Fregate Island, living in freshwater and can be seen in one of the island’s sixteen ponds. 

Terrapins are a very shy, secretive species and thus hard to see, but now with the recent rains the past weeks they have become alot more active.

In between December and February the female lays six to twelve eggs, which will hatch in approximately 48 days. 

To find a baby terrapin on the island is of course great news, because it means that the population is reproducing. In the upcoming weeks the conservation team will start up a monitoring plan to see how many terrapins there are on Fregate Island Private. 

Individual terrapins are given permanent markings in the form of a notch code on the upper shell, weight and size data is recorded simultaneously. This identification system  provides information relating to the movement between ponds, habitat preferences, terrapin growth rates, environments and population size. With this information, new habitats will be created and secured on Fregate Island Private.

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