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To learn more about terrapins and their
conservation visit the following websites:
Chesapeake Terrapin Alliance
Diamondback Terrapin Working Group
Maryland DNR-Wildlife & Heritage Service
P.O. Box 68
Wye Mills, MD 21679
The National Aquarium
The Terrapin Institute
The Wetlands Institute
Brochure developed by
Maryland Herp Partners © 2009.
The diamondback terrapin
(Malaclemys terrapin) is our state
reptile and lives exclusively in the tidal
salt marshes of the Chesapeake Bay
and Atlantic coastal waters.
This brackish water habitat is also
the home of the blue crab
George Grall, National Aquarium
Scott A. Smith, MD Department of Natural Resources
Larry Hogan, Governor
Mark Belton, Secretary
Diamondback terrapin with barnacles
growing on its shell.
A terrapin is seen swimming in the Bay. You can
help to ensure our state reptile is around for future
generations to enjoy by having BRDs on all of your
What’s the problem?
Terrapins were once very plentiful but today are
struggling to survive because of loss of nesting
beach habitat, increased mortalities from boat
collisions, road mortality, and drowning in crab
pots and other types of fishing gear.
The terrapin desperately needs
your help to survive.
Each year recreational crab pots unnecessarily
claim the lives of terrapins. Terrapins are lured
into crab pots by the same baits used to attract
blue crabs. However, unlike blue crabs, terrapins
must rise periodically to the surface for a breath
of air. Terrapins trapped in a fully submerged
crab pot will eventually die from drowning.
How can you help?
Waterfront property owners are legally allowed
to crab with a maximum of two recreational crab
pots. Since 1999, Maryland regula