Red-eared, yellow-bellied and Cumberland sliders

Trachemys scripta spp.

Overview

Photo Credit: ©GBNNSS
Trachemys scripta spp; Trachemys scripta scripta, Trachymeys scripta troostii; Trachymes scripta elegans 
Widely Spread Species:
  • Under Article 19 of Invasive Alien Species Regulation (1143/2014) Trachemys scripta spp. have been identified as a Widely Spread Species in Northern Ireland and as such, management measures have been put in place to minimise their impacts.

Description:
  • The slider is a large freshwater turtle, native to Eastern and Central US. There are three sub-species: red-eared, yellow-bellied and Cumberland sliders.

Download N.I.E.A. ID guide


Origin and Worldwide Distribution:
  • The slider is native to Eastern and Central US.
  • In the past, over 50 million individuals have been imported into Europe for the pet trade. Many have since escaped or been deliberately released into the wild.
  • The species is now present in Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

Potential or Known Impacts:
  • The slider is a serious threat to endangered populations of indigenous turtle species, such as the European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis) or the Mediterranean turtle (Mauremys leprosa) because it competes for basking and nesting sites. With its voracious appetite, it disturbs aquatic habitats and poses a human health risk, being a possible reservoir for salmonella.

How did it get here?
  • In the past, over 50 million individuals have been imported into Europe for the pet trade. Many have since escaped or been deliberately released into the wild.

Are they found in Northern Ireland?
  • Present in Northern Ireland.
  • More distribution information can be found at NBN Atlas NI.

You can help by reporting any sightings: @ the Centre for Environmental Data & Recording (CEDaR) - Or via the iRecord App.  
Further Resources: 
Methods for Prevention:
  • The import of the red-eared, yellow-bellied and Cumberland sliders has already been banned through the EU Wildlife Trade Regulation, but placing all three sub-species on the Union list will further contain the invasion.
  • The following links have been provided to aid in further identifying, and treatment of species: https://www.cabi.org/isc/datasheet/61560
  • Record all sightings.

Current Legislative Position (Listed on 03 August 2016)
  • This species must not intentionally be brought into the Union; kept; bred; transported to, from or within the United Kingdom, unless for the transportation to facilities in the context of eradication; placed on the market; used or exchanged; permitted to reproduce, grown or cultivated; or released into the environment.
For further queries, you can contact the Invasive Non Native Species (INNS) Team in the Northern Ireland Environment Agency on 028 9056 9558 or Email: invasivespecies@daera-ni.gov.uk

Species Related Files:

Invasive Species Ireland

Invasive Species Ireland