It was another strong season for the annual Diamondback Terrapin Population Study at Doug Rayner Wildlife Refuge, the largest nesting ground in Southeastern New England. The program is run by Charlotte Sornborger with the help of a team of volunteers and two interns. 

  • The first nesting May 31
  • Last nesting July 7
  • 122 nesting females counted
  • 8 new nesting terrapins
  • Hatchlings were released from August 16 until Sept. 6
  • 458 hatchlings released
  • A motion camera donated by Ned Barton revealed coyotes, white-tail deer, wild turkeys, great horned owls, a bat, and killdeer.
  • 588 guestimate of diamondback terrapin population living in Hundred Acre Cove.

Terrapins were also spotted this year on Riverview Drive north of the White Church Bridge, one female on the shore at Colt State Park, and many seen at various locations in the Palmer River.

For a second year Mars Bishop and Julien Tien were interns for the Barrington Land Conservation Trust. Other participants were Dr. Peter Paton and Dr. Nancy Karraker (URI), Bob Caron (BristolCC), Pete McCalmont, Dick and Kathy Philips, Nancy Racette, Amy O’Donnell, Lori Vastano, Chuck Nemitz, and Marcus Paiva. Steve Reinert continues as scientific advisor.

Pete McCalmont and Chris Clegg of Four Town Farm collaborated on vegetation control in the sandpit. A permit for the study is issued by RIDEM Fish and Wildlife Division. Primary documents are kept by the RI Natural History Survey, the BLCT, ( and the Barrington Conservation Commission. For inquiries contact Charlotte Sornborger, the current project leader, ( or by phone (401)-245-8467.