Monday, October 10, 2011

The Friendly and Brave Yellow-Bellied Terrapin!!!!!

During one of our surveys for our coastal development project funded by the Mangroves for the Future, assistant Researcher Cathrina Freminot made a rather un-expected discovery...

"For how long his been sitting here?
What is he doing here?
That’s the questions I am still asking myself….."

The 30 of September 2011 a lucky day for Cathrina (me) (Assistant Researcher), Rebecca (Work attachment Student) and Laura (Senior Researcher).

The little terrapin hiding in a corner in the shade, next to the bridge

As I was working along the footpath at Bayan Tree for the Turtle survey walk on the Beach, I spotted a brave Yellow- Bellied Terrapin next to the side of a bridge, in the shade, I shouted “oohhh it’s a terrapin” . Laura turned back with a big smile on her face, and Rebecca was so happy since it was her first terrapin.

Cathrina with the feisty little terrapin

Laura ran to the car to get all the equipment. We gathered together to get the measurement, paint a part of its carapace with nail varnish to give it a distinctive mark for any resighting, and we took some pictures to identify its gender. It was the smallest one that we’ve encountered so far. He had got loads of sand in his eyes, as his been fighting to find his way back to the wetland, so we gently washed him off..

Length: 14.5 cm
Width: 9.5 cm
Carapace Length: 15.6 cm
Colour: Gold
Gender: Male

After doing all the procedures I walked closer to the wetland and released him, he was so happy and swam very fast.

All measured and marked with his gold margin mark, he was ready to go!

Am so glad that we got the chance to help the terrapin out of harm.


Big thanks to Rebecca Hoareau and Laura Jeffreys.

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