World Turtle News, 08/27/2019
Research shows invasive red-eared slider turtles compete with native turtles for resources
A recent study conducted at UC Davis Arboretum found that invasive red-eared sliders (RES) (Trachemys scripta elegans) strongly compete with native western pond turtles (Actinemys marmorata) for several resources.
117 RES were removed from this habitat during the study and researchers discovered that western pond turtles gained on average 40 grams in weight within a year of the removal on the invasive species. This is said to be particularly significant for female pond turtles, as their weight is proportionate to their clutch size – so the larger the female the more eggs she will produce.
Max Lambert, one of the authors of the study said: ‘western pond turtles — who are in a rapid decline due to agriculture and urbanization — became more relaxed and comfortable after the removal of red-eared slider turtles.’
In future, Lambert hopes to carry these findings and apply them to other urban pond habitats to help the endangered western pond turtles as much as possible.
To read the full article, click the link.
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Photo from Oregon Conservation Strategy.