From Water Hyacinths to Norway Rats, introduced species are one of the leading causes of animal population declines and extinctions worldwide. Introduced turtles, while not usually viewed in this light, can be problematic…feral Red-Eared Sliders, for example, are out-competing native turtles in many countries (please see article below). Please see Part 1 of this article for more information on African Spurred Tortoises, Geochelone sulcata, in Arizona.
Disease introduction is a particularly serious concern when an animal is introduced into the range of a relative, as is the case with African Spurred Tortoises in Arizona.
Native Desert Tortoise, Gopherus agassizii, populations, already fragile, could be decimated by a disease or parasite that may be carried by, but is relatively harmless to, Spurred Tortoises. This was a common occurrence in zoos when related animals from different parts of the globe were exhibited together, and the chief reason why I advise pet-keepers against the practice. Read More »