Red-eared Slider


I was looking for a lapwing type bird I saw in a recently flooded rice paddy when I spotted one of the most invasive species in the world, the red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans). Red-eared sliders are originally from the southern United States and northern Mexico, but due to their popularity as pets and because people release pets in the wild, they have conquered many habitats throughout the world, including an irrigation pond in my neighborhood in Osaka. The importation and sale are banned in many countries, but not in Japan until 2020. Because of their behavior, they outcompete local species. They can live for up to 40 years so if Japan wants to get rid of them, they have a lot of work to do. The ministry of the environment estimates there are 8 million individuals and they outnumber local turtle species, 8 to 1. In Japan they are known as midori gane


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