Red Eared Sliders (Trachemys scripta elegans) have been introduced worldwide and are believed to negatively impact many species. However, direct evidence concerning their affect on other turtles is scarce. A recent study involving Sliders, Spanish Terrapins (Mauremys leprosa) and European Pond Turtles (Emys orbicularis) has shed some light on the subject.
It’s easy to imagine that introduced Red Eared Sliders would create problems for native European turtles. They are larger than many species favoring similar foods, breed rapidly, adjust well to human presence, and are very aggressive in the pursuit of food and basking sites.
I have noticed that Eastern Painted Turtles have declined in several habitats now occupied by Sliders, but am basing this on observation only, not study. Others voice the same concerns, but again have been unable to document just what, if anything, the Sliders are doing to nudge-out the natives. Read More »