Terrapins Threatened Despite Harvest Restrictions
Poor data quality from the past cloud's the issue, but according to the new numbers available, the harvest of terrapins jumped over 2000% from 2005 to 2006. Prior to State restrictions on harvest in 2005, about 760 lbs of terrapin were harvested. In 2006, over 17,472 of terrapin were taken, made up largely of small males and sub-adult females.
The diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin) is the State reptile and a critical component of Bay ecosystems. Isn't it time we put a harvest ban in place, at least until we can get an accurate census of the current population?