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Rare diamondback terrapins found in Westerly

August 20, 2013

WESTERLY, R.I. (AP) — A University of Rhode Island student has found nine diamondback terrapins in Westerly while trying to document whether the rare turtle species is breeding in the southern part of the state.

The university announced Monday that wildlife and conservation biology major Meghan Beatty has seen as many as nine diamondback terrapins in Winnapaug Pond.

Beatty has spent the summer kayaking at the state’s coastal ponds looking for the diamondbacks. Winnapaug Pond is the only one where she spotted the elusive creature.

Diamondback terrapins are found in salt marsh estuaries from Cape Cod to the Florida Keys. They are considered endangered and protected in Rhode Island.

Beatty is a resident of Sandwich, Mass., who grew up in Bristol, R.I. She’s working with URI staff on the terrapin study.

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