State Proposes New Protection for Diamondback Terrapin

 The State Department of Environmental Conservation is accepting comments on the possible closing of the diamondback terrapin season. The diamondback terrapin lives in brackish waters on Long Island as well as near the Hudson River and New York Harbor. The law now allows them to be taken with a commercial license from August through April.

Declines in terrapin populations have prompted some states to ban their commercial harvest and, according to the D.E.C., a single intensive harvesting season has the potential to endanger the species. The D.E.C. is proposing to end the harvest of diamondback terrapins and to give the species the same protections as other native turtles in New York.

The notice of proposed rulemaking can be viewed at dec.ny.gov. The public comment period will be open through June 9. Comments must be submitted in writing to Kathy O'Brien, NYSDEC, 625 Broadway, Albany 12233-4754 or to wildliferegs@dec.ny.gov with "Terrapin Regulation" in the subject line.