The Center for the Inland Bays has once again installed signs along coastal Route 1, reminding drivers diamondback terrapins are leaving the waters of Rehoboth Bay to lay their eggs in the ocean dune.
According to the CIB, diamondback terrapins are the only truly estuarine turtle in North America. They do not migrate; they spend their entire lives in bays, creeks, salt marshes, and coves. Every year, breeding female terrapins leave the brackish waters of the bay and cross Route 1 to lay eggs in the ocean dune. Each female terrapin can reproduce for up to two decades, producing about 25-40 eggs per year.
It is estimated that only 2 percent of terrapin eggs hatch, owing largely to predators like foxes, skunks, and raccoons, which dig into the nests and consume the eggs and baby terrapins.