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Individual Based Modeling of Diamondback Terrapins

Project Information

Project Status: In Progress
Submitted By: Benjamin Levy
Project Email:
Project Institution: MGHPCC
Anchor Institution: MGHPCC

Mentors: Julie Ma
Students: Ben Burnett, Abigail Waters

Project Description

Diamondback terrapins live in estuarine habitats such as salt marshes, creeks, and tidal flats along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts of the United States. Crab traps pose a significant threat to the population as individuals can become stuck and drown. Additionally, predators and humans regularly destroy the eggs that exist in nests along the shore. We formulate an individual based model using data from a mark-recapture study to assess the impact of crab traps and nest disturbances on the longevity of a localized population. Since individuals perish in crab traps relative to their size and sex, we also quantify how the presence of traps can skew the sex ratio of the population.