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September 2004

Dr. Joe Butler (University of North Florida) - "Diamondback Terrapins"

Dr. Butler showed his love for these turtles with a great talk on these unique turtles.  Locally, the Carolina Diamondback Terrapin, Malaclemys terrapin centrata, occurs as far south as northern Florida on the Atlantic side.  These turtles are becoming scarce due to many factors, some of which are disappearing habitat and dying in crab traps in which they cannot escape.  These very attractive turtles are found in brackish waters along the coasts.

The following is a brief synopsis from Joel Roberts from the meeting:

We learned all about diamondback terrapins such as habitat, nesting locations, times, & techniques, diet, predators,  & much more.   Such dedication they have for their studies.  They had gone to the island where they did their study every day, rain or shine for the entire nesting/hatching season.   They are also working on the crab traps to try to reduce the amount of turtle deaths with the use of turtle excluders.   Again, what dedication & what a love they must have for these creatures to put in so much time & effort to make a difference & to give these turtles a chance to remain on this planet. 

Thanks Dr. Butler

Photos below by Joel Roberts

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