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Lewes, Delaware
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June 13, 2003     Cape Gazette
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June 13, 2003

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24 - CAPE GAZETTE, Friday, June 13 - June 19, 2003 Saving the Diamondback terrapin Experiment aims to a 1.8-mile area where many fe- include providing a nesting habi- male terrapins were crossing the tat on the bayside of Route 1, are reduce Route 1 deaths highway. Since the introduction still tenative, but he would like to of the fence and a turtle crossing see it begin next fall. By Michael Feeney sign on the southbound side of According to Delaware Divi- For years Route 1 through Route 1, the number of turtles sion of Parks and Recreation Nat- Delaware Seashore Park has been found on the highway has not de- ural Areas Program project biolo- creased enough to prove the gists, DNREC hopes to work with a death trap for Diamondback ter- rapins, which begin to cross the fence's effectiveness. DelDOT to come up with some highway in an attempt to find a Through their research, DeWire type of barrier and habitat creation suitable nesting habitat each June. and Houssock concluded that be- agreement. Currently many terra- Delaware Division of Parks and cause the turtles can see through pins nest on Burton's Island, the Recreation Natural Areas Program the fence they are determined to Indian River Inlet Marina and the seasonal project biologists, Alex reach their historic nesting habitat western beaches of Rehoboth Bay, DeWire and Carrie Houssock, on the other side. but more sites are needed. have been researching the situa- In a new experiment, they have If a turtle is found in the tion and are experimenting with covered a one-mile portion of the Delaware Seashore Park, visitors the use of a black silt-fencing fab- wooden fence with black silt- should contact either Houssock ric that has been stapled to a fencing fabric to block the view of and DeWire at 302-242-6004. wooden fence in an effort to re- the turtles. Tffe cost for materials is estimated at $1,000 and is being duce the number of terrapin fatali- ties. covered by the Division of Parks and Recreation's stewardship Diamondback terrapins, which spend most of their time in the fund. water, are often killed by vehicles Before the experiement, during late May through mid-July DeWire and Houssock spent when the female turtles cross the countless hours biking up and down a 14-mile stretch of Route 1 highway looking for sandy areas above the high tide line in which looking for turtles and returning to lay their eggs. Those that make them to their habitats. But too of- ten they foundd lifeless turtles and it across are many times killed on the way back, along with newborn scattered remains. hatchlings, which die from the in- "We find six to eight dead terra- tense summer heat on the road. pins every day," said DeWire, According to project biologists, who is concerned because the the Diamondback terrapin species peak of mating season is still to come. is currently a "species of con- tern." A survey conducted by the A senior at Franklin Marshall state in May and early June 2001, College, Houssock was inspired found 33 adult females, 24 juve- to get involved after doing re- niles and 17 hatchlings dead along search on the terrapin dilemma  lg the highway. In addition, about when she learned they were a 100 dead terrapins have been species of concern. found during each of the past two DeWire, who hopes to go to nesting seasons with more than 60 graduate school and eventually work for the U.S. Department of- percent being adult females, car- Agriculture, also values the expe- rying between four and 16 eggs. The survey results prompted the rience and would like to pursue a state in June 2001 to install a two- career in environmental policies ' foot high wooden slat fence along for the state. DeWire said future plans, which Photo by Michael Faeney Shown holding Diamondback terrapins are (l-r) volunteer, Erin Fraze project biologist, Carrie Houssock; and project biologist, Alex DeWire. Houssock and DeWire are working on a project to reduce the terrapins that are killed every year crossing Route 1. Chose from 38 Individual Dog Breeds. Our ties are tailored using the finest quality Printed Silk Twill. Presented to you in our Free Exclusive Gift Wrap. $39.95 .F..WOo0 " 25 Baltimore Avenue i, ; Rehoboth Beach, Delaware 19971 .. 302-227-8331 800-225-8331 SALES TAX FREE DELAWARE tah//m/ G, Monday-Saturday 10 to5 Sunday 11 to 5 1977 SAVE 25% On all AL YNN Ties with a Tacky Tie Trade-In through Father's Day l] ............ FiTUHIW[[g]T ....... I1]1 ]ill]lliiHIimiillillll[I ]1 ....... II ]H'[l-]r ]][]]][i]Oil][]]i-lill!l[ "' " " 1 - IIIITI ]r 'llV-]