Invasive alien red-eared slider turtle found in Bundaberg backyard

Discussion in 'Reptile News' started by Flaviemys purvisi, May 4, 2019.

  1. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2017
    Messages:
    2,203
    Likes Received:
    1,422
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    QLD
    abc.png
    By Sarah Jane Bell
    Friday, May 3rd, 2019.


    11078790-3x2-940x627.jpg
    The small red-eared slider turtle is native to the USA.
    Supplied: Bundaberg Regional Council



    An invasive species of turtle known to be aggressive and to carry diseases that threaten Australia's native turtles has been found in a backyard in Bundaberg in southern Queensland.

    The red-eared slider turtle, which is native to the USA, is a freshwater turtle about 30 centimetres in size, with a distinctive red strip behind each ear.

    One of the turtles was found last month in an Avoca garden, prompting Biosecurity Queensland to launch an investigation.

    Biosecurity Queensland said the International Union for Conservation of Nature lists the red-eared slider turtle as one of the world's 100 worst invasive alien species.

    The Bundaberg Regional Council is subsequently undertaking a wide-scale surveillance operation in the region.

    Bundaberg Regional Councillor Wayne Honor said the turtle was listed as a restricted invasive animal under the Biosecurity Act.

    "Fortunately, the resident who found the turtle, which had made its way into their backyard, reported it immediately to Council and the Department of Fisheries and Agriculture," Councillor Honor said.

    Land Protection Officers were called to the home to collect the turtle, which the Bundaberg Regional Council said had the ability to have a disastrous effect on native turtle populations.

    The turtle has since been euthanased.

    Biosecurity Queensland is undertaking a DNA analysis to determine if the turtle was related to a known population in Burpengary, north of Brisbane.
    11078934-3x2-940x627.jpg
    The Bundaberg Council is undertaking wide-scale surveillance for the turtle in the region.
    Supplied: Bundaberg Regional Council



    Bundaberg Regional Council natural resource management officer Greg O'Neill said surveillance of Bundaberg's waterways was underway.

    "We have also doorknocked in the area of the sighting in an attempt to find out where the turtle may have come from," he said.

    "Residents were provided with information alerting them to the recent detection and asking them to report all sightings of turtles on their properties."

    The last confirmed sighting of a red-eared slider turtle in Bundaberg was in 2005 in Baldwin Swamp.

    Platforms that simulate logs and rocks that turtles like to bask on have been placed in Baldwin Swamp with motion sensor cameras that capture photos of the turtles.

    Mr O'Neill said residents who discover a suspected alien turtle species should take reasonable and practical steps to minimise the risk of these turtles escaping.
     
    dragonlover1 likes this.
  2. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2004
    Messages:
    7,427
    Likes Received:
    727
    Location:
    Victoria
    These things are popping up all over the country. As your signature says, it'll take a bit of time, but these things are out there and eventually will colonise most of Australia. Perhaps they can be slowed but nothing will stop them now. They'll be the cane toad of the turtle world, but most people won't notice and will probably enjoy seeing pretty turtles everywhere. They're not ugly or poisonous, so most people won't understand the damage they will cause.
     
  3. Flaviemys purvisi

    Flaviemys purvisi Very Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2017
    Messages:
    2,203
    Likes Received:
    1,422
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    QLD
    Yeah... finding one that small kinda indicates that an established population is successfully breeding in the area. Not ideal at all.
     
  4. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2004
    Messages:
    7,427
    Likes Received:
    727
    Location:
    Victoria
    They've popped up multiple times at multiple locations in multiple states. They're obviously out there and already widespread. Most people wouldn't know a slider from a Chelodina or Emydura, so people are probably staring right at them all the time. Even you and I could easily walk past a lake with a fair few of them and have no idea. Obviously we would immediately recognise one if we got a half decent look at one, but if at this stage they are only a small percentage of the local turtle population you and I probably wouldn't happen to spot one even if they were quite a few years into colonising a location. Again, as your signature says, it takes a long time with turtles and even where they are becoming established it will take a fairly long time for them to overthrow the adult population of resident species. Unfortunately, when you look at what they're able to do to New World turtles, it's clear they're going to completely stomp all over Australian ones. It's likely that several species will need captive populations to prevent their extinction.
     
    Flaviemys purvisi likes this.

Share This Page