Diamonds in the marsh : a natural history of the diamondback terrapin
219 pages, 12 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm Contents: A decidedly unique creature -- A coast-hugging turtle -- Reproduction : insurance for species survival -- The lost years -- A clear and present danger for the most celebrated of American reptiles -- Learning from the past; peering into the future. Includes bibliographical references (pages 205-214) and index. Full jacket text: The first book-length investigation of a fascinating turtle She’s the mascot for the University of Maryland’s sports teams (their slogan: Fear the Turtle) and her ancestors were nearly driven to extinction by Victorians who indulged in turtle soup. But as she buries herself in the mud every night to sleep, the diamondback terrapin knows none of this. The size of a dinner plate, with a lifespan of at least forty years, she is the only turtle in North America who can live in brackish and salty waters. The diamondback terrapin is named for the beautiful concentric rings on its shell. Its habitat ranges from Cape Cod to Corpus Christi,Texas, with seven subspecies identified along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. Several diamondback populations have been the subjects of ecological studies in recent years, but most of that information was buried in scientific literature and various state and federal reports—until now. Synthesizing all known research on this remarkable animal, Diamonds in the Marsh is the first full-scale natural history of the diamondback terrapin. Focusing on the northern diamondback, Barbara Brennessel examines its evolution, physiology, adaptations, behavior, growth patterns, life span, genetic diversity, land use, reproduction, and early years. She also discusses its relationship to humans, first as an important food source from colonial times through the nineteenth century, and more recently as a cultural icon, frequently depicted in Native American art and design. She concludes with a look at contemporary hazards to the terrapin, and urges continued study of this marvelous creature.
The Turtle Survival Alliance (TSA) was formed in 2001 as an International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) partnership for sustainable captive management of freshwater turtles and tortoises, and initially designated a Task Force of the IUCN Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group. The TSA arose in response to the rampant and unsustainable harvest of Asian turtle populations to supply Chinese markets, a situation known as the Asian Turtle Crisis.Since forming, the TSA has become recognized as a global force for turtle conservation, capable of taking swift and decisive action on behalf of critically endangered turtles and tortoises. Although the TSA was organized in response to the Asian Turtle Crisis, the group has been expanded as our understanding of the scope of turtle and tortoise declines has become better understood. The TSA has been particularly involved in recovery efforts where a managed breeding component is part of an overall survival strategy. The TSA employs a comprehensive strategy for evaluating the most critically endangered chelonians that identifies whether a species is prioritized for a captive program or through range country efforts, or a combination of both.In the past 13 years, TSA secured nonprofit 501(c)(3) status (2005) and has centralized its base operations in South Carolina by opening the Turtle Survival Center (2013). The Turtle Survival Center, which now has AZA certification (2018), is home to a collection of more than 700 turtles and tortoises, representing 30 of the world’s critically endangered species. The TSA has also grown internationally, with significant field projects or programs in Madagascar, Myanmar and India, and additional projects in Belize, Colombia, and throughout Asia.Today, the TSA is an action-oriented global partnership, focusing on species that are at high risk of extinction, and working in turtle diversity hotspots around the world. Widely recognized as a global catalyst for turtle conservation based on its reputation for swift and decisive action, the TSA has made a bold commitment to zero turtle extinctions in the 21st Century. The TSA is a recognized force for turtle conservation globally. TSA’s conservation actions utilize a three-pronged approach:1. Restoring populations in the wild where possible;2. Securing species in captivity through assurance colonies; and3. Building the capacity to restore, secure and conserve species within their range country.