Pest or Guest: The Zoology of Overabundance
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Shelley Burgin, 2007. "Status report on Trachemys scripta elegans: pet terrapin or Australia's pest turtle?", Pest or Guest: The Zoology of Overabundance, Daniel Lunney, Peggy Eby, Pat Hutchings, Shelley Burgin
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Red-eared Sliders Trachemys scripta elegans have become the ubiquitous ‘pet terrapin’. They are endemic to much of eastern United States of America and northern Mexico, and have been traded to the four corners of the world, mainly from the ‘turtle farms’ of Louisiana, predominantly for the pet industry. There has been sustained growth in the industry (which included turtles for the Asian food market) since its establishment. In many countries, escaped and released animals have formed the basis of feral populations and in some areas they appear to have had a major impact on the biodiversity of local waterways. There are now breeding populations within Australia, at least in New South Wales and Queensland. This paper reviews the current evidence for feral Red-eared Sliders populations in this country and the approach governments of Australia have taken to overcome the spread of this species and the associated threats to biodiversity.