“Red Eared Slider Turtles” Threaten Native Indian turtles across Northeast

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Red Eared Slider Turtles are threatening to invade the natural water bodies across the Northeast region in India.

About Red-eared slider:

  • Firstly, the red-eared slider is a semi-aquatic turtle belonging to the family Emydidae.
  • Secondly, Origin: They are native to the Southern United States and northern Mexico. But they are found in other countries as well because they are famous as pets.
    • People keep the Red-Eared slider turtle as pets. They release them in natural water bodies after they outgrow an aquarium, tank, or pool at home.
  • Thirdly, Invasive Species: These turtles are considered one of the world’s worst invasive species. This is because they grow fast and virtually leave nothing for the native species to eat.
    • Invasive Species is an organism that causes ecological or economic harm in a new environment where it is not native.
  • Fourthly, Name: They get their name from the small, red stripe around its ears or where its ears would be and from its ability to slide quickly off rocks and logs into the water.
  • Fifthly, Description: The females of the species are usually larger than the males. They typically live between 20 and 30 years, although some individuals have lived for more than 40 years.
  • Sixthly, Significance: Red-eared sliders are poikilotherms. This means that they are unable to regulate their body temperatures independently. Hence, they are completely dependent on the temperature of their environment.
    • For this reason, they need to sunbathe frequently to warm themselves and maintain their body temperatures.
Red-eared Slider Turtle in India:
  • A team of herpetologists from the NGO ‘Help Earth’ found red­ eared sliders in the Deepor Beel Wildlife Sanctuary and the Ugratara temple pond in Assam.
    • The turtle was also collected from an unnamed stream, connected to the Tlawng River, on a farm near Mizoram capital Aizawl.
  • Concerns: As Red Eared Sliders are considered invasive, they are threatening to invade the natural water bodies across the Northeast region.
    • The North East Region is home to 21 of the 29 vulnerable native Indian species of freshwater turtles and tortoises.

Source: The Hindu

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