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280 days of Urbpandemonium #182

 photo IMGP2472_zpsqnuykt9f.jpg
It was kind of nice to experience pond sliders (specifically the red-eared slider Trachemys scripta elegans*) in their native home range. True, it was in an artificial body of water in the botanical garden, with animals clearly accustomed to being fed by humans, but it was their native home range. These hardy semi-aquatic turtles are transported around the world as food animals and especially pets. More often than not, any pet sliders that survive the care of their early years outgrow their tiny tanks. The pet owners time and time again take their problem to the nearest pond and dump it. Pond sliders turn out to be survivors, and this practice has meant that these turtles now have among the broadest range of any turtle species in the world. Australia and Europe have banned its importation, but much of the damage is done. I can see a time when the pond slider is the last species of turtle, and once we're gone it will radiate into all the other turtle niches.

*Elegant written rough turtle

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
featheredfrog
Oct. 10th, 2015 01:47 am (UTC)
Why would it have to wait until we're gone?
urbpan
Oct. 10th, 2015 10:26 am (UTC)
Hopefully while we're still here conservation groups like Turtle Survival Alliance will prevent some extinctions. http://www.turtlesurvival.org/
froganon
Oct. 12th, 2015 12:23 am (UTC)

I had an acquaintance whose slider outgrew his tank so she made him a black hard plastic pond in her apartment. [Landlord ignored this but lady below her was already frightened of her for other reasons involving reptiles and amphibians].

Eventually, she released slider into a small pond out in the woods.

I know frogs cannot be released after living inside for six months due to household contaminants spreading to the outdoor population via the frog. I wonder if the same or similar is true for slider.

[Or for any other specimen that irresponsible owners have dumped onto the environment].

The problem in Florida with released snakes is well-known in terms of over-population and crowding out native species.

But what about the upsetment of baterium within the environment of the sliders themselves? as well as their water stuffs?

The problem I think is larger than overpopulation. It has to be. Any specimen that lives in an artificial human environment for x amount of months is bound to become "contaminated" by that environment.

An irresponsible release [dumping, abandonment] into a natural setting which is unfamiliar with the onslaught of human contaminants which the turtle has been exposed to...

multiplied by the number of turtles released into ecologically sensitive areas...

you do get where I'm going with this, right. Things as basic as a slider excreting into the natural environment and spreading the humanstuffs that way.

I'm not expressing it so well, damn the aphasia, but you sorta get it, right?
urbpan
Oct. 12th, 2015 10:06 am (UTC)
No you've hit the crux of the problem. Captive aquatic animals tend to have higher levels of pathogens, because they're in a closed system where parasites and bacteria can build up. Releasing an animal that's been in that situation is also releasing all those pathogens. Serious problems have been documented.
froganon
Oct. 14th, 2015 05:22 am (UTC)

Pathogens, that is the word that I was hunting for. Thanks for that!
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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