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fighting turtles

Feller95

New Member
Hi,

This year I've noticed three of my adult turtles have bite marks around the edges of their shell. I have 23 Murray short necks, 17 adults in a 20,000ltr pond and 6 smaller ones in a 5000ltr pond. I've had these for over 10 years but haven't ran into this issue before. Usually with the large number there's no "targeting" as such. I can't seem to pin point who would be causing this issue? I'm assuming it may be a breeding response but not 100% sure. Due to the volume of the pond I've never encountered this.

Any tips on either finding the culprit or how to stop this from happening again? I've currently re arranged the pond (shifted logs & moved hides) to possible shift any "territories". Perhaps adding more hides?

I can look into obtaining a 15,000ltr pond but not sure if that will solve any problems. Perhaps dividing the ponds up into a male only pond, and female only? Are single sex ponds more ideal?

P.S the three bitten turtles, have been dry docked and recovering in individual IBCs until shell heals over.

Cheers
 

Flaviemys purvisi

Very Well-Known Member
Trusted Seller
Hi there, this is not a mating/courtship behaviour, it's serious territorial aggression, if left for nature to take its course, those turtles would be killed. In the wild, those 3 would be driven out of the area, they'd leave because they have the option to.

Of the 17 adults, what is your male : female ratio? If it is more than 1 male to 6 females you have too many. What sex are the 3 injured turtles?
 

Feller95

New Member
Hi there, this is not a mating/courtship behaviour, it's serious territorial aggression, if left for nature to take its course, those turtles would be killed. In the wild, those 3 would be driven out of the area, they'd leave because they have the option to.

Of the 17 adults, what is your male : female ratio? If it is more than 1 male to 6 females you have too many. What sex are the 3 injured turtles?
That's what I thought might be the case as it's not the usual mating behaviour I've seen before.

Can't remember off the top of my head what the male :female ratio is, I believe its almost equal with only a couple more females. Definitely not the 1:6 ratio you mentioned it then. Two of the injured turtles are females, the last one could be female two but not as distinct as the others.
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Setting up 3 more IBC tomorrow, hoping to catch 3 males and separate them until a long terms solution. While I won't be sure if I catch the territorial one, hopefully it reduces the male:female ratio.
 
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