Red-eared Slider (non-native)

Description:

  • Greenish grey head commonly with a red patch just behind each eye but some individuals lack the red “ear” stripe
  • Top shell dark colored with a black and yellow line pattern, margin edge is serrated
  • Bottom shell yellow with with black splotches
  • Yellow stripes along neck and legs

Habitat:

  • Lives in areas with a calm, warm water source, with lots of aquatic vegetation
  • Found in ponds, lakes, creeks, marshes and streams
  • Thrives in warm climates, especially the southern United States

Impact:

  • Red-eared sliders use nesting sites similar to native turtles. Since they lay their eggs a month earlier than native turtles, they attract predators to nesting sites
  • Grow larger and lay more eggs than Oregon’s native turtles
  • Compete with native turtles for food, basking and nesting sites, and covering habitat
  • May introduce parasites or diseases to native turtle populations

Status:

  • Regulated by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) as Prohibited Non-Native Wildlife
  • Illegal to import/bring into Oregon or possess live without a permit from ODFW
  • More information about red-eared sliders can be found here

Range:

  • Naturally occurs throughout much of eastern United States