Conservation Genetics

, Volume 17, Issue 3, pp 557–563 | Cite as

Threat or fiction: is the pond slider (Trachemys scripta) really invasive in Central Europe? A case study from Slovenia

  • Benjamin Standfuss
  • Gregor Lipovšek
  • Uwe Fritz
  • Melita VambergerEmail author
Research Article


Using samples of non-native pond sliders (Trachemys scripta) from three different climatic zones in Slovenia, we perform parentage analyses and use population genetic approaches to find out whether they successfully reproduce and are able to establish populations. Based on 14 highly polymorphic microsatellite loci, we provide evidence for successful reproduction and invasiveness of pond sliders not only for the Mediterranean and sub-Mediterranean regions of Slovenia, but also for the central part of the country having a temperate continental climate. Our results suggest that the pond slider should be classified as an invasive species (introduced species spreading in a non-native region) for Slovenia and other European regions with similar climatic conditions. Since the negative impact of pond sliders is out of question for native European turtle species, we suggest the immediate removal of pond sliders from all habitats. Our study provides for the first time hard evidence for the capability of pond sliders to reproduce in Central Europe. Thus, it contributes to the understanding of the invasiveness of pond sliders in Europe and delivers an important foundation for decision-makers in conservation.


Invasive species Conservation Emys orbicularis Native turtles Mediterranean Continental climate 



This study was partially funded from Mestna občina Ljubljana by supporting the project “Izboljšanje habitata močvirske sklednice v Krajinskem parku Tivoli, Rožnik in Šišenski hrib 2014”, which was carried out by the society “Herpetološko društvo – Societas Herpetologica Slovenica”. We would like to thank Anke Müller for help with field work, Katarina Lipovšek, Lara Lipovšek, Marjetka Šemrl, Daniela Vlačič, Irena and Ciril Hanžič for accommodation and care during fieldwork, Marijan Govedič and Ali Šalamun from the Centre for Cartography of Fauna and Flora (CKFF) for the traps, logistic support and making maps of Slovenia. Special thanks also to Rastislav Pogelšek from Sport Fishing Club Renče.

Supplementary material

10592_2015_805_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (169 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 168 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Benjamin Standfuss
    • 1
  • Gregor Lipovšek
    • 2
  • Uwe Fritz
    • 1
  • Melita Vamberger
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Museum of Zoology (Museum für Tierkunde)DresdenGermany
  2. 2.Herpetološko društvo – Societas herpetologica slovenicaLjubljanaSlovenia

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