Two female Diamondback Terrapins will now be known as “Ebb” and “Flo,” thanks to a naming contest conducted by the staff at the Indian River Life-Saving Station in Delaware Seashore State Park. The contest drew 90 entries, with the winning submission coming from Vicky Henderson and Cathy Martin of the Delaware Council of Wildlife Rehabilitators and Educators.
The Diamondback Terrapin is an aquatic animal native to Delaware, typically found in the marshes and brackish water of the bays along the east coast. Historically harvested as an inexpensive food source, the populations now face a different danger. Female terrapins often journey from the protection of the bay habitat to the nearby coastal dunes to make their nests. This journey takes them across the busy Coastal Highway, making them vulnerable to vehicles traveling to the popular coastal beaches. Drivers are especially cautioned to watch for terrapins crossing the roadways from May through September.
The terrapins have been in their new home at the Life-Saving Station since mid-January. They were caught in the wild, and Delaware law prohibits return of turtles to the wild after they have been in captivity for 30 days or more. Since they can live up to 30 years, Ebb and Flo will greet visitors to the station and be valuable resources for educational programs for years to come.
More information about Delaware Wildlife Regulations is available at 302-735-8670. Rehabilitation information can be found at dewildliferescue.com.
Those who wish to learn more about the Diamondback Terrapin can visit the Indian River Life-Saving Station, located in Rehoboth Beach, 3.5 miles south of Dewey Beach and 1.5 miles north of the Indian River Inlet Bridge. Hours and program information is available at destateparks.com, or the public may call 302-227-6991.