Successful Partnership Helps Deal With Invasive Red-eared Slider Turtle

8 Oct 2019

DPI staff assembling turtle traps

A research program led by NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) in collaboration with Local Land Services and Centennial Parklands, is providing invaluable information for the future management and control of the red-eared slider turtle.

The red-eared slider turtle is an invasive animal which originates from the USA but has been intensively bred, transported and traded internationally.

It is now ranked in the top 100 most invasive species in the world and has established feral populations in many parts of the world including areas of NSW.

Vertebrate Pest Research Unit Technical Officer, Emma Sawyers said the research, which has been running since late September, involves the trapping of a known feral population of the turtle and using the information collected  to inform the community on management approaches for the species.

“The research is a part of the DPI’s larger pest species control program, which will allow us to build frontline pest management skills and to improve pest animal management procedures and policy for use in NSW.“Ms Sawyers said.

“The information will be made readily available for land managers and community groups to use in the future and will assist in ensuring that red-eared slider turtle management programs are undertaken successfully and humanely.”

NSW DPI Technical Specialist, Vertebrate Pests Invasive Species Biosecurity Unit, Nathan Cutter, outlined the importance of the community in the success of the trial.

“This research work is a success story in progress, as it demonstrates the power of collaboration and what can be achieved when different government bodies and the community work together,” Mr Cutter said.
“Ongoing community assistance is essential in the future management of this and other species such as the American corn snake, African hedgehog and other unusual non-native invasive species that have recently been detected in NSW.

As NSW heads into the warmer months, community members are asked to report any sightings of the red-eared slider turtle immediately. The  red-eared slider turtle can be easily distinguished from native turtle species by the distinct yellow and red stripes on its head.

For further information and to report any sightings, visit

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