Bradley Shaffer in Berkeley News: How red-eared invaders are hurting California’s native turtles
Red-eared sliders are the most commonly traded pet turtles in the world, but are often released into the wild by disgruntled owners when they get too big to handle. Thanks to illegal dumping, the sliders, which are native to the Central United States and Northeastern Mexico, can now be found all over the world. Their new stomping grounds include California, where they vie for food and sunny basking sites with western pond turtles, whose populations are in rapid decline due to agriculture and urbanization.
Lambert and five other UC Davis undergraduates teamed up with their faculty adviser, H. Bradley Shaffer, who is a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at UCLA, and Gregory Pauly, curator of herpetology at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County and senior author of the study, to design the removal experiment.