This is the time of year that many park visitors will see turtles on the move, looking for nesting locations to lay their eggs. While a nice park story, a little while ago a sighting in Centennial Parklands put us on alert – news of a potential Red-eared Slider Turtle being spotted.
While we work hard to protect our wildlife and improve our aquatic ecosystems, the battle continues against a number of pest species, and the potential sighting of a Red-eared Slider Turtle is not good news if confirmed.
What is a Red-eared Slider Turtle?
The Red-eared Slider Turtle is a native of the Mississippi region of the USA. They get their name from the small red dash around their ears. The “slider” part of their name comes from their ability to slide off rocks and logs and into the water quickly.
And what is the problem?
It is aggressive and has the potential to destroy our native turtle populations.
Originally imported as aquarium pets many have been released once they out grew their tanks. They are now an illegal import into Australia and many other countries around the world.
They are listed in the top 100 Feral Animals of the World and are a Declared Pest Species across Australia.
Here is a Fact Sheet on Red-eared Slider Turtles.
How can you help?
Keep an eye out for this pest species. Spotting turtles in the Parklands is a fun activity for many, but if you suspect that you see a Red-eared Slider Turtle, you can do a great service to our native turtles and aquatic ecosystem by reporting the sighting to our Rangers.
Thanks for helping keep our ponds and our native animals healthy and clean.