With speckled skin and elaborately patterned shells, diamondback terrapins are gorgeous creatures. They're also hard workers who keep the balance along our coasts -- by eating snails that would otherwise devour salt-marsh grasses and lead to ecosystem collapse.
Right now these turtles face a host of serious threats, from fishing-gear entanglement to car strikes and overcollection. But luckily for New York's terrapins, the state is considering a solution that will give them a chance to recover: a full closure of the harvesting season.
Currently any person who holds a diamondback terrapin license can take them in unlimited numbers during a nine-month open season. This is terrible policy, given that scientists have repeatedly shown that even moderate levels of collection can send populations into a crash.
December 4, 2016 Action Alert ID# 455
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