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.


Red-eared Slider Turtle (photo from

Red-eared Slider Turtle (photo from


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.


Learn more

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.

Ring 0412 718 611 immediately, or head to the Visitor Information Counter. Alternately you can report sightings of turtles through the QuestaGame app or the TurtleSAT website.

Thanks for helping keep our ponds and our native animals healthy and clean.


Become an Insider

Similar Articles

  • Baby birds leave their nests as summer arrives

    Baby birds around Sydney are making the transition from nestling to fledgling, trying out their wings and learning to fly. Young birds are often seen on the ground throughout late spring and early summer and this is a normal stage in their transition to adulthood. Centennial Parklands is a birdwatcher’s paradise with over 50 species […]

  • Hollows as Homes - Cockatoo
    Urgent housing crisis needs your help!

    Housing availability is not just a human challenge in Sydney, but one affecting our native wildlife. However you can help by joining our Hollows as Homes program.

  • Cygnets in Centennial Park
    Don’t feed the birds? Why not?

    We understand that the tradition of “going to the park to feed the ducks” is a hard one to break. Besides, what harm does it really cause?