Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Slider Show

Nature might be taking care of Santa Cruz, California's red-eared slider turtle (Trachemys scripta elegans, formerly genus Chrysemys - thanks Sven!) problem. According to this article at the Santa Cruz Sentinel, park officials from Natural Bridges State Beach have noticed that local raccoons are snatching up the non-native turtles for dinner, and the officials aren't exactly upset about it. The red-eared sliders, most likely released by unthinking pet owners, are thought to compete with rare Western pond turtles (Clemmys marmorata) for food, and have been observed eating the legs off local frogs.

Tip of the virtual hat to the Protect Your Waters website. Negative bonus points to the Sentinel for running a big 'ol ad for TurtleSale.com right smack in the center of the article!


fuzzyturtle said...

oy! I have two sliders that live quite nicely in a 180 gallon tank with great filtration and UVB lighting. One I bought in Chinatown NY after a drunken 'goodbye' luncheon (most women pick up sailors, I buy street turtles). Most expensive 25cent pet I ever bought, in retrospect.

the other I got from someone who was going to 'let him live free in the pond at the park'.


I'm lucky, somehow I got two males (each about 10 years old). The females can be the size of a dinner plate, easy.

They're amazing animals that can adapt so easily..and unfortunately they're set free by people who haven't fully evolved, mentally


Anonymous said...

Re: The ad.

Ugh. It's a contextual Google ad, unfortunately, which can have that sort of effect from time to time.

We're certainly not advocating or endorsing any sort of turtle purchase-and-release pattern...

-- Ryan the Online Editor from the Sentinel

Jennifer Forman Orth said...

Hi Ryan,

Thanks for the reply. Of course this sort of thing is all automated, I say it more to point out that it is in poor taste (there's a red-eared slider *in* the ad!) than to accuse the Sentinel of anything nefarious.

However, automated systems should be getting smarter about such things. There should be a way to indicate "not [keywords]" for when you post an expose or something that depicts said keywords in a negative light!

Anonymous said...

"(Chrysemys scripta elegans, formerly genus Trachemys)"

Huh? This is, to the best of my pretty-well-informed knowledge, incorrect. These guys were forever Pseudemys, then got synonymized with Chrysemys, then split back out to Pseudemys, but for at least the past 15 years they've been solidly and uncontroversially Trachemys. (sorry, just too lazy to stick in all those italics tags)

Jennifer Forman Orth said...

Yep, it appears I accidentally reversed the taxonomy...not that anything taxonomic is solid and uncontroversial these days. Will fix. And here's an ITIS link for anyone that wants to look into it more.