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The Diamondback Terrapins of Piermont Marsh, Hudson River, New York

Jose C. Simoes and Randolph M. Chambers
Northeastern Naturalist
Vol. 6, No. 3 (1999), pp. 241-248
Published by: Eagle Hill Institute
DOI: 10.2307/3858600
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3858600
Page Count: 8
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The Diamondback Terrapins of Piermont Marsh, Hudson River, New York
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Abstract

We investigated the size and structure of a population of diamondback terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin) inhabiting Piermont Marsh on the lower Hudson River, New York. From 6 June through 24 August 1997, 39 trapping periods were completed using trammel nets set in and around the marsh complex. Only eight terrapins were captured -- six males and two females -- indicative of a small or broadly-dispersed population. Terrapins were trapped near a sandbar area outside of the marsh but never seen or trapped in two marsh creeks, suggesting the creeks were not used by terrapins during the time of the study. Instead, terrapins were observed basking and swimming around the rocky piers and breakwaters in the Hudson River. Recent development, soil subsidence, and Phragmites australis growth may have deteriorated traditional terrapin nesting sites in the region.

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