What Do Diamondback Terrapins Eat?

At our talk and slide show for the Hackensack River Kayak and Canoe Club last night, we included a few photos of Diamondback Terrapins, which are thriving along the lower Hackensack River.

Someone in the audience asked, "What do Diamondback Terrapins eat?"

We basically replied: "We're not sure, but we'll find out."

We asked NCMC Naturalist Brett Bragin, who responded: "They'll eat Fiddler Crabs, small Blue Crabs, fish, snails mussels and whatever else they can get, including vegetative matter."

After the talk, someone reported seeing a man taking turtles from the river near Mill Creek Point last week.

Taking turtles out of the river without the proper state wildlife collection permits is illegal. The turtles are apt to wind up in the illegal pet trade or in a New York City fish market.

If you see anyone taking turtles from the river, please take a photo, get their license plate if possible, and call NJMC staffer Jim Wright, who will pass the information along.

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