The diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin) is listed in Virginia as a species of “Very High Conservation Need” based on threats due to nest predation and drowning of adults in crab pots. Donna Bilkovic and Kirk Havens of VIMS and Randolph Chambers and Matthias Leu of the W&M will use information about the natural features of habitats to map likely diamondback terrapin habitats and study the overlap of those areas with threats to turtles, such as crab fishing. The results will allow managers to identify areas where terrapins are most likely to encounter threats and allow for targeted conservation efforts in those areas.
Funded by the Virginia Sea Grant Coastal & Marine Science RFP
Project detail: Donna Bilkovic (VIMS), Randolph Chambers (W&M), Kirk Havens (VIMS), and Matthias Leu (W&M). Foundation for future development of bycatch reduction strategies for commercial and recreational blue crab fisheries: Diamondback terrapin habitat mapping.