Kiawah Island - May 2005


Twenty-one researchers from the University of Georgia’s Savannah River Ecology Laboratory and Davidson College spent all or part of the week of 14-21 May conducting research on the diamondback terrapins that inhabit the salt marshes of Kiawah Island. The research was initiated in 1983 by Dr. J. Whitfield Gibbons and consists primarily of a mark-recapture program, which allows researchers to accurately evaluate trends in population sizes, and other critical aspects of terrapin biology. During this research trip, over 70 terrapins were found, several of them that were first captured as many as 18 years ago. The diamondback terrapin is the only turtle in North America found exclusively in salt marshes and has experienced dramatic declines in much of its range.


(Photo: T. Luhring)

The Diamondback Terrapin

(Malaclemys terrapin)



The Cast

Whit Gibbons (Photo: T. Luhring)
Mike Dorcas (Photo: T. Luhring)
Erin Casey (Photo: M. Dorcas)
Kristen Cecala (Photo: M. Dorcas)
Sarah DuRant (Photo: M. Dorcas)
Terry Ferrell (Photo: M. Dorcas)
Cris Hagan (Photo: T. Luhring)
Meg Hoyle (Photo: T. Luhring)
Chad Jennison (Photo: T. Luhring)
Tom Luhring (Photo: M. Dorcas)
Clint McCoy (Photo: T. Luhring)
Jason Norman (Photo: T. Luhring)
Justin Oguni (Photo: T. Luhring)
Melissa Pilgrim (Photo: M. Dorcas)
Shannon Pittman (Photo: T. Luhring)
Steve Price (Photo: T. Luhring)
Scott Rothermel (Photo: M. Dorcas)
J.D. Willson (Photo: M. Dorcas)
Chris Winne (Photo: M. Dorcas)
Lisa Winne (Photo: M. Dorcas)
Not Pictured: Ewa Ching        


Seining for Turtles at Sandy Creek


Processing Terrapins




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Davidson College Herpetology Laboratory