The Department of Agriculture and Food has praised a community effort to help remove a pest red-eared slider turtle from Baigup Wetlands.
Department Invasive Species manager Lindsay Strange said a keen-eyed Bayswater resident identified the turtle, found at a neighbouring property and reported it to the department.
“Red-eared slider turtles are listed as one of the world’s top 100 invasive species as they are prolific breeders and can impact on native turtle species and fish,” Mr Strange said.
“The turtle is considered a significant threat and has been found established in the wild in various parts of Australia where they compete with and predate on native species.”
During recent weeks, the department had been working with other agencies and the City of Bayswater to capture the pest following a sighting by a member of the public.
“This is an excellent example of community awareness and effort to ensure that potentially damaging exotic species are not introduced to Western Australia,” Mr Strange said.
Turtles can live for up to 40 years. The red-eared slider turtle was a popular pet in the eastern states many years ago and because of their longevity it is possible some people are still keeping them as pets. They are now prohibited Australia-wide.
The red-eared slider is a freshwater turtle with a distinctive red stripe behind each eye. The turtles can grow to about 30 cm in length and unlike native turtles, sliders can retract their head into their shell.
Suspect turtles should be reported to the Department of Agriculture and Food’s Pest and Disease Information Service on free-call 1800 084 881.
The department is working with departments of Fisheries, and Parks and Wildlife, the City of Bayswater and the Baigup Wetlands Interest Group to monitor the wetland and ensure there are no other pest turtles.
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