One of the world’s most invasive species captured in Elwood
20 December 2016
Biosecurity Officers have captured a Red Ear Slider Turtle in Elwood Canal, a reptile known to be one of the world's 100 worst invasive species.
This is the second capture of a red-ear slider turtle in Melbourne, with another recently captured at a residential property in North Melbourne.
Agriculture Victoria's Biosecurity Manager Adam Kay said the turtle is a declared pest in many parts of the world and could have devastating impacts on Victoria's environment if established.
"They might look adorable to some but these invaders have a track record of successfully competing with our precious native animals for food, basking sites, nesting sites and suitable habitat," Mr Kay said.
"They are prolific breeders which prey aggressively on our native frogs and fish and can also carry exotic diseases and parasites which can be transmitted to native wildlife, and even humans."
Mr Kay said the capture of the two exotic turtles highlights the link between the illegal keeping of exotic pest animals and the risk of new pest animals being introduced into the environment.
"Both turtles were reported to Agriculture Victoria by members of the public which led to their swift capture," Mr Kay said.
"Investigations are ongoing, but in this case it's most likely the turtles were dumped or released by people involved in the illegal trade of exotic pest animals."
"This highlights the important role members of the public can play in reporting exotic pest animals."
Agriculture Victoria is calling on the public to report any information related to the possible origins of the red-ear slider turtle in the Elwood Canal.
To report any sightings of exotic pest animals or to get advice on surrendering an animal please call Agriculture Victoria's Customer Service Centre on 136 186. All information received will be treated confidentially.
Alternatively any information relating to the illegal trade in exotic pest animals can also be reported to Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or via www.crimestoppers.com.au.
Categorised under: Biosecurity