Biodiversity Nepal
For the Future Generation

An Invasive Turtle: Red Eared Slider

Irresponsible management has made Red Eared Slider an invasive species in many countries. IUCN has included this species in the world's 100 most invasive species.

Red Eared Slider (RES) is a semi-aquatic turtle from family Emydidae native of the southern US and northern Mexico. They are the most popular turtle species as a pet around the globe. Irresponsible management has made this an invasive species in many countries.

IUCN includes this species in the world’s 100 most invasive species. In the early 20th century, RES was in the market throughout the world. In the process, the baby turtle is bought, when it grows to a fairly large size the loved pet gets dumped into the wild. This is how the invasion of RES began.

Red Eared Slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) Photo by Sabin Adhikari (TRCC Turtle’s club)

The ability to reach sexual maturity at a young age and larger clutch size in comparison to native counterparts make the successful invasive. They can grow large to dominate native turtles for food, habitat, and nesting grounds. They can be aggressive for the basking spot.

Turtles raised in captivity are potential carriers of the disease. The native turtles may be vulnerable to the disease. Red-Eared Slider can be the cause of setback for the native turtles.

The breeding population thrives in New South Wales and Queensland, Australia. Scientists suggest this turtle may harm the native species. It is illegal, unethical, and not environment friendly to import, keep, trade, and release the RES into the wild. Many countries including Australia restrict import or trade of RES. 

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