Trapping region's pest turtles

Published 6:00am 24 June 2023

Trapping region's pest turtles
Words by Nick Crockford

Moreton Bay Region appears to be winning a battle against one of the world’s most invasive species.

Red-eared slider turtles - among the top 100 pests according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature's - were found in Burpengary in 2018.

Media reports said the turtles were also spotted in Morayfield and Burpengary two years earlier. In 2012 one was reportedly found and handed to authorities.

Since the sightings, Biosecurity Queensland (BQ) has worked with Moreton Bay Regional Council to eradicate red-eared sliders.

A BQ spokesperson said “most of the known population has been removed”,  but “surveillance and trapping operations in Burpengary are continuing”.

Trapping region's pest turtles

Native to North America, the red-eared slider is a freshwater turtle with a red strip behind each ear. They are very aggressive and will out-compete native species for food and space.

The BQ spokesperson said red-eared slider turtles are timid and it is difficult to detect adults.

BQ uses a range of surveillance techniques including platforms, humane trapping and environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis to try and detect them.

The public is urged to know how to identify red-eared slider turtles and if safe, catch any found and immediately call Biosecurity Queensland on 13 25 23, or Moreton Bay Regional Council on (07) 3205 0555 or 1300 477 161.

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