NBC News reporter Wynne Anderson reports from Chesapeake Bay–where Ohio University’s Dr. Willem Roosenburg is researching diamondback terrapins, including whether using area schoolchildren as turtle babysitters for eight months helps
Roosenburg has been collecting baby terrapins from the Bay for eight years and giving them to school classrooms to raise. “The classrooms receive their turtles in September. They keep them in the classroom. They raise them. They measure them. They learn about habitat issues and other important consequences for tarrapins and how encroachment by humans on their habitat adversely affects them.”
While the turtles in the classroom are protected from natural predators and grow twice as fast as those in the Bay, Wynne reports that while Roosenburg “hasn’t seen a big difference in the eventual survival rate of wild terrapins vs. classroom terrapins, he says the project is a success in other ways.”
“It’s really the first study to be able to make a good comparison between wild animals vs. the headstart animals, but the real benefit to this program is the educational outreach,” says Roosenburg.