TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is seeking input on proposed changes to diamondback terrapin rules. If approved, the proposed revisions will affect take, possession, transport and sale of diamondback terrapins in Florida.
At the agency’s December 2020 meeting, Commissioners approved staff recommendations to amend existing rules to strengthen protections for diamondback terrapins in Florida. Because close coordination with stakeholders and the public is important for helping to ensure the best outcome for final rules, staff are seeking public input and conducting webinars focusing on intentional take of diamondback terrapins.
FWC staff will hold two public webinars during the public comment period that runs Aug. 16 through Sept. 13, 2021. Staff will present information on proposed rule changes as well as ongoing research and conservation efforts for terrapins in Florida. Each webinar will offer the same information and will provide an opportunity for participants to ask questions.
Webinars are scheduled for the following dates:
• Wednesday, Sept. 1 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. (ET)
• Friday, Sept. 3 from 1:30 to 3 p.m. (ET)
Participation in a webinar will require access to a computer. A recording of the webinars will be published online for interested parties who are unable to attend. For information on how to join the webinars and proposed rule revisions visit MyFWC.com/FreshwaterTurtles and click on the banner at the top of the page.
The FWC will also accept public comment between Aug. 16 and Sept. 13, 2021 via email to Freshwater.Turtles@MyFWC.com. If you would like to comment but are unable to do so in the specified timeframe or if you prefer an alternate format in which to comment, contact Freshwater.Turtles@MyFWC.com.
Diamondback terrapins are medium-sized turtles that live in brackish water habitats statewide, including salt marshes, barrier islands, mangrove swamps, tidal creeks and rivers. They eat a variety of foods including snails, crabs, clams, mussels, worms, fish and plants. Five subspecies occur in Florida, three of which can be found nowhere else in the world. For more information on diamondback terrapins, visit MyFWC.com/Terrapin.