Red-eared Slider Turtle

Context

  • A ‘cute’ American turtle popular as a pet is threatening to invade the natural water bodies across the Northeast, home to 21 of the 29 vulnerable native Indian species of freshwater turtles and tortoises.

  • A team of NGO found red-eared slider turtle in the Deepor Beel Wildlife Sanctuary and the Ugratara temple pond – both in Guwahati  connected to the Tlawng River, on a farm near Mizoram capital Aizawl.

About Red-eared Slider Turtle

  • The red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) derives its name from red stripes around the part where its ears would be and from its ability to slide quickly off any surface into the water.

    red-eared slider turtle
    Source: The Hindu

  • Native to the U.S. and northern Mexico, this turtle is an extremely popular pet due to its small size, easy maintenance, and relatively low cost. But on the flip side, they grow fast and virtually leaves nothing for the native species to eat.
  • the red-eared slider has already affected States such as Karnataka and Gujarat, where it has been found in 33 natural water bodies
  • But more than elsewhere in India, preventing this invasive species from overtaking the Brahmaputra and other river ecosystems in the Northeast is crucial because the Northeast is home to more than 72% of the turtle and tortoise species in the country, all of them very rare.

Back to Basics

Invasive Species of India

  • An invasive species is an organism that causes ecological or economic harm in a new environment where it is not native.
  • There are many invasive species in India. For eg: Charru Mussel, Lantana bushes, Indian Bullfrog, etc.

Source: The Hindu


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