Stop Hunting Diamondback Terrapins

Target: Basil Seggos, Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

Goal: Ban diamondback terrapin harvesting in New York.

The New York Department of Environmental Conservation is considering passing a proposal that will ban the harvesting of diamondback terrapins. Currently, anyone who has a license to hunt the turtles can harvest an unlimited amount during a nine-month open season. But many scientists say that the harvest is devastating for the terrapin population. With these types of turtles, even collecting just a moderate amount of them can lead to a population crash.

Diamondback terrapins are an important part of New York’s salt marsh ecosystem. The turtles eat salt marsh periwinkle snails. If left unchecked, these snails would destroy coastal grasses, leaving barren mudflats. The continued harvesting of these animals could have a devastating effect on the beautiful salt marshes of New York.

New York’s terrapin harvest law also contains a loophole that is often exploited by poachers. New York is one of the last states on the East Coast to allow terrapin hunting. A loophole in New York’s law, poachers can take terrapins harvested illegally from other states into New York, where they can sell them without consequence. Putting the terrapin hunting ban into effect will help stop these cruel poachers.

It’s time for New York to follow the lead of many of the other East Coast states and put a ban on terrapin hunting. Sign this petition to tell the New York Department of Environmental Conservation that you support the ban on terrapin hunting.


Dear Mr. Seggos,

Currently, anyone with a diamondback terrapin hunting license can harvest an unlimited amount of turtles during a nine-month open season. This is devastating for the terrapin population; scientists have found that even collecting a moderate amount of turtles can cause a population crash. The diamondback terrapins are an important part of the salt marsh ecosystem in New York. Without terrapins eating salt marsh periwinkle snails, the snails would destroy coastal grasses.

For these reasons, I urge you to pass the proposal banning diamondback terrapin harvesting. Diamondback terrapins are a vital part of New York’s ecosystem, and they are being endangered by rampant harvesting. To ensure that they survive, please pass the proposal to ban terrapin hunting in New York as soon as possible.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Trisha Shears

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