Our turtles are declining at a rapid rate, many already on the endangered species list, yet in NYS it is legal to harvest our Diamondback terrapins and Snapping turtles. Just recently there was a major die off of our Diamondback terrapins in the Flanders Bay area where hundreds of these turtles were found dead, adult turtles, that now will not be bringing offspring, no babies. At this rate of loss we will be adding the terrapin to the list of not only threatened species, but endangered. It's imperative that we get this species protected and stop the harvesting and hunting of our turtles and protect them from being taken from the wild before it's too late and we don't have them any more like some of the others.
As rehabbers we work daily to save every turtle that comes into our rescue to be rehabilitated it is so disheartening to know there are turtles being harvested by others to be taken and used for whatever reason and because our turtles are declining and we don't see the amount we used to see we know this harvesting has got to stop. We urge you to please take action and stop allowing the harvest and hunting of our precious turtles. Over a hundred of the Diamondback terrapin which recently have been found washed up dead on the shores of the bay on the east end of Long Island cannot withstand the further harvesting and hunting that is allowed. If it is continued they will end up added to the list of species of special concern if not the list of endangered species. Please consider our petition to change them to protected. We need them in our ecosystem.