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Diamondback terrapin turtle

New York Ends Unsustainable Commercial Terrapin Turtle Harvest

Coastal Turtles Threatened by Habitat Loss, Harvest Pressure

ALBANY, N.Y.— The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation today adopted a rule to end commercial harvest of diamondback terrapins, responding in part to comments from the Center for Biological Diversity, the New York Turtle and Tortoise Society, HerpDigest and other turtle experts. The new rule received unanimous public support during the public comment period.

“I’m thrilled New York’s conservation leaders followed the science by ending collection of these beautiful little turtles,” said Elise Bennett, a Center attorney dedicated to protecting rare reptiles and amphibians. “The harvest ban on diamondback terrapins will help this exceptional species survive in New York. And it’ll help protect the health of our coasts for generations.”

Diamondback terrapins, which are found along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, are the only North American turtles that live exclusively along the coast where fresh water meets the sea. They play a key role in coastal ecosystems because they eat salt marsh periwinkle snails, which can become overpopulated and devour the marsh grasses that protect shorelines and sustain wildlife.

Read more.

Learn about our campaign to save southern and midwestern freshwater turtles.

Contact: Elise Bennett

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Media Contacts:
Mike Stark, Communications Director
mstark@biologicaldiversity.org, (520) 623-5252, ext. 315

Jessica Herrera, Media Specialist – Population and Sustainability
jherrera@biologicaldiversity.org, (520) 345-5726

Steve Jones, Media Specialist – Oceans
sjones@biologicaldiversity.org, (415) 305-3866

Jim Cronin, Media Specialist – Endangered Species
jcronin@biologicaldiversity.org, (213)785-5400 ext. 109

Rebecca Fuoco, Media Specialist – Climate Law Institute
rfuoco@biologicaldiversity.org, (503) 283.5474 ext. 411

Mary K. Reinhart, Media Specialist – Public Lands
mkreinhart@biologicaldiversity.org, (602) 320-7309

Andy Parker, Media Specialist – Environmental Health
aparker@biologicaldiversity.org, (503) 310-5569

Patrick Sullivan, Media Specialist – Climate Change, Fracking
psullivan@biologicaldiversity.org, (415) 632-5316

Russ McSpadden, Communications Associate – Media Photos
rmcspadden@biologicaldiversity.org

Banner photo Center for Biological Diversity; diamondback terrapin courtesy USFWS