Abstract

Recreational and commercial crab pots are considered major threats contributing to recent declines in diamondback terrapin populations. In a single Georgia (USA) tidal marsh, 133 diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin centrata) carcasses were observed in abandoned crab pots, consisting of more than double the remaining estimated population. We suggest that the potential for just a few neglected or abandoned crab pots to significantly deplete a terrapin population makes enforcement of explicit soak laws and implementation of a derelict crab-pot removal program a priority for conservation of diamondback terrapins in Georgia.

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