The Terrapin Tally

The Terrapin Tally Story

The Terrapin Tally is a project created in partnership with the NC Coastal Reserve & National Estuarine Research Reserve and the NC Wildlife Resources Commission to help address questions about the overall population status and condition of the Diamondback Terrapin within the state. The diamondback terrapin is listed as a species of special concern within the state and Species of Greatest Conservation Need in the NC Wildlife Action Plan and due to these designations, the NCNERR and NCWRC staff set out to fill these information and data gaps, which resulted in the pilot Terrapin Tally in 2014 at Masonboro Island Reserve.

The Terrapin Tally is structured as a community science activity that aims to take a snapshot of the diamondback terrapin population numbers in a given area by conducting kayak surveys at specified times and prescribed routes. By doing this, our hope was to eventually allow for population statistics and trends to be understood over time.

We are back for our 10th year and looking forward to another year of terrapin sighting data collection and appreciate your willingness to help contribute to a larger purpose in protecting our favorite little marsh turtle!

Training Dates (1 REQUIRED)

TBD (In-person)


TBD (Virtual)

Click HERE to register for a training session

TBD - Virtual Troubleshooting Session (Optional)

Optional session to check in with the Terrapin Tally team to ask last minute questions before data collection sessions begin

Data Collection Sessions

Sessions will take place on the following days and are conducted in 2-hour blocks. Times range between 7am - 2pm and vary by site depending on the tide.

Terrapin Tally 2022

Routes available at:

Cape Lookout National Seashore

Rachel Carson Reserve

Calico Creek

Hammocks Beach State Park

Lea Hutaff Island

Masonboro Island Reserve

Carolina Beach State Park

Fort Fisher State Recreation Area

Zeke's Island Reserve

Bald Head Island

Bird Island Reserve