Diamondback Terrapins of Tampa Bay: an Educator’s Guide

Diamondback Terrapins of Tampa Bay: an Educator’s Guide, updated 11/10/16, 2:47 PM

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Diamondback terrapins are turtles that inhabit estuaries along the east and Gulf coasts of the United States.  They range from Cape Cod, Massachusetts to northern Mexico.  Terrapins were harvested in the late 1800’s through the early 1900’s as a food source with a high demand leading to reductions in their populations across their range.  In the 1930’s, terrapins became less desirable food sources and populations increased in areas with good habitat, but not much is known about populations in certain areas.  What make terrapins so interesting are their markings, which are highly variable and prominent.  Reasons for the variation include genetic diversity and some variations in their patterns could be linked to environmental conditions. 

About Friends of County Parks

The Friends of the County Parks, established in 1988, is a group of concerned citizens joining together to promote financial and community support to the Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation, and Conservation Department. They develop public awareness of recreation as an important part of day-to-day life. 

Funds provided by The Friends of the County Parks are used as a supplement to the Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department budget and does not replace allocated tax dollars. These additional funds helps maintain, improve, and enhance services provided by the Parks, Recreation and Conservation Department. The Friends of the County Parks enjoys a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit exemption status.

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