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 Welcome to the Diamondback Terrapin Working Group

This year, the Diamondback Terrapin Working Group is participating in Giving Tuesday, a global day to celebrate and help causes through giving. We hope you’ll join in and support our ongoing work to promote conservation and preservation of intact, wild diamondback terrapin populations and their habitats range wide.

We can all agree with Shantel Swierc, a student we supported with travel funds to attend the 2016 Symposium, “[terrapins] are the perfect animal to establish a critical connection between conserving biodiversity and public awareness. Being part of this movement is priceless and I would not trade it for the world.”

Why should I give?
We all know terrapins need help!

The DTWG awards an average of ~$2,200 in grants annually, currently funded by solely membership dues. We have also recently increased spending to support student participation in our national symposia and have made contributions to help organizations in the turtle conservation community during times of crisis.

The DTWG uses your membership dues and donations to directly support terrapin and turtle research, management, conservation, and education. The board of directors and officers all volunteer their time to the DTWG.
Donations are the main mechanism we have to replenish the general fund.
How do I participate?

It’s easy! Make an online contribution any time on Tuesday, November 29th.
You can donate to the Diamondback Terrapin Working Group online using our PayPal Giving Fund page:

Help us reach our $1,000 goal in our first Giving Tuesday!
$6,765 - Annual Grant Awards (2014-2016)
$1,000 - Donation to post- disaster cleanup at the Turtle Survival Center (2015)
$4,825 - Symposium Student Travel Awards and Student Presentation Awards (2016)
$200 - Donation to support HerpDigest (2016)

The Diamondback Terrapin Working Group is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Over-wintering terrapin hatchling emerging from the nest on the

Poplar Island Environmental Restoration Project, Talbot County Maryland

Photo by Nick Smeenk


Dedicated to diamondback terrapin research, conservation, management and education

The Diamondback Terrapin Working Group was formed in 2004 by individuals from academic, scientific, regulatory and private institutions/organizations working to promote the conservation of the diamondback terrapin, the preservation of intact, wild terrapin populations and their associated ecosystems throughout their range. The Diamondback Terrapin Working Group is committed to and supports research, management, conservation, and education efforts with the above goals in mind.

We welcome new members to the working group and encourage interested parties to join.

Need for the Working Group

Richard Seigel and Whit Gibbons organized the first terrapin workshop, held at the Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (Aiken, South Carolina) on 2 August 1994, in response to reports of potential declines in terrapin populations in several locations throughout its range. That workshop provided an opportunity to share data on terrapin biology and status and to produce specific recommendations for action by local, state and federal management agencies. A valuable product was the publication of a paper in Chelonian Conservation and Biology (Volume 1, Number 3:240-243) identifying the threats and steps needed to conserve the species.

The second workshop in the series was organized by Roger Wood and held at The Wetlands Institute (Stone Harbor, New Jersey) on 6-8 October 2000. Like the first workshop, it provided a valuable opportunity to share new research findings and to discuss conservation concerns.

Since our first meeting in 1994, terrapins still face an uncertain future. We as a group face a great conservation challenge. In response, we (Joe Butler and George Heinrich, organizers of the Third Workshop on the Ecology, Status and Conservation of the Diamondback Terrapin) proposed the establishment of a national Diamondback Terrapin Working Group, which will pursue a range-wide conservation plan. We intend for this initiative to address the need for better communication and support among terrapin researchers and conservationists, as well as unite all individuals and organizations concerned with the decline of this species.

We are a 501 3c Organization

Terrapin Hatchling on the Poplar Island Environmental Restoration Project, Talbot County, MD

photo by Leah Graham