People in Cork urged to be on the look-out for 'invasive' pond sliders

The semiaquatic turtle has been recently spotted in The Lough in Cork City. 
People in Cork urged to be on the look-out for 'invasive' pond sliders

Pond Sliders were first reported in Ireland in 2003. More recently, they were identified in The Lough, Cork City and the National Botanic Gardens, Dublin. Pond Sliders have three subspecies: Red-Eared Slider, Yellow-Bellied Slider and Cumberland Slider. Pictured is a red eared slider turtle, tropical reptile specie from America. File image. Stock image

THE National Parks and Wildlife Service has put out an alert for an invasive species spotted in Cork city.

Pond sliders, a species of medium-sized semiaquatic turtle, have been recently spotted in The Lough in Cork City, triggering the alert.

Pond sliders are an invasive species introduced to the wild in Ireland as early as 2003, mostly through pet owners releasing them.

Pond sliders can grow to 30cm and live for up to 50 years. 

They cannot reproduce in Ireland’s climate, but pets released into the wild can compete with native species for food and resources and use the nests of birds as basking sites.

They are also potential carriers for diseases and parasites which can be passed on to native species and humans. It is thought that they could be a vector of salmonella.

As the species develops, it can become more omnivorous. While it mainly eats plants, it can also predate on young birds and fish, impacting our natural biodiversity.

As they have been recently spotted at the Lough, the NPWS are urging people to look out for the animals, to help stop their spread.

The Office of Public Works and Cork City Council were issued Early Detection Notifications regarding the sighting of the species, alerting them of their duty to apply Rapid Eradication Measures.

Additionally, the National Parks and Wildlife Service is planning to work with the National Biodiversity Data Centre and the Herpetological Society of Ireland to develop a national eradication plan.

If you spot a Pond Slider, you are urged to record your sighting, including a photo, on the National Biodiversity Data Centre website or the easy to use NBDC mobile app.

Further information on the Pond Slider, including identification aids and contact details for the competent authorities can also be found on the Biodiversity Ireland website.

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