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BASIS # 23029U3

Title An investigation of the distribution and status of the Diamondback terrapin (Malaclemmys terrapin) in the Chesapeake Bay

Project Description This study plan details research of the diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin terrapin) in Chesapeake Bay in response to a one-year FY- 02 congressional funding initiative. Our primary objective, given this short time frame, is to establish baseline information deemed most essential to the conservation management of the species with potential provision for long-term funding. The research outlined herein includes 2 separate elements: a survey study to establish the distribution and relative abundance of diamondback terrapin in a major portion of the Chesapeake Bay, and second, a baseline study of population genetics that will provide a thorough understanding of the evolutionary relationships (e.g. gene exchange) among geographically proximate and distal populations. Included in the genetic study will be an effort to determine the genetic identity of terrapin hibernacula and the effect of commercial harvest from such sites. This work is consistent with the mission of the USGS to collaborate with partners to facilitate the sound management of the Nations biological resources.

Keywords reptile, chesapeake bay, diamondback terrapin, dna, population structure

Principal Investigator Paula Henry, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center: Paula_Henry@usgs.gov

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