Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 13, Issue 13, pp 2511–2518 | Cite as

Impact of the introduction of the red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) on survival rates of the European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis)

  • A. Cadi
  • P. Joly


Recent massive imports of slider turtles, (Trachemys scripta elegans) into Europe as pets have induced frequent release of these exotic turtles in natural habitats. As a consequence, T. s. elegans is now widely distributed in most wetlands. Moreover, reproduction of this species has been repeatedly observed in Europe under Mediterranean climatic conditions. In this context, we studied competition between this introduced species and the European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis) under experimental conditions. We compared weight variation and survival between control groups and mixed groups during three years of monitoring. We found both weight loss and high mortality in E. orbicularis of the mixed groups. This study argues for applying a precaution principle and stopping slider turtle introductions in all wetlands in Europe.

Emys orbicularis Introduction Survivor rate Testudines Trachemys scripta elegans 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Arvy C. and Servan J. 1998. Imminent competition between Trachemys scripta and Emys orbicularis in France. Proceedings of The Emys Symposium, Dresden 96. Mertensiella, pp. 33–40.Google Scholar
  2. Bour R. 1989. Mauremys leprosa in Atlas de répartition des amphibiens et des reptiles de France, Société Herpétologique de France, Paris, France, pp. 108–109.Google Scholar
  3. Bringsøe H. 2001. Trachemys Agassiz, 1857–Schumckschildkröten in Handbuch der Reptilien und Amphibien Europas, Aula-Verlag, Wiebelsheim, Germany, pp. 517–583.Google Scholar
  4. Cadi A. and Joly P. 2003. Competition for basking places between the endangered European pond turtle (Emys orbicularisgalloitalica) and the introduced red-eared turtle (Trachemys scripta elegans). Canadian Journal of Zoology 81: 1392–1398.Google Scholar
  5. Cagle F.R. 1946. The growth of the slider turtle, Pseudemys scripta elegans. American Midland Naturalist 36: 685–739.Google Scholar
  6. Cagle F.R. 1950. The life history of the slider turtle, Pseudemys scripta troostii (Hoolbrook). Ecological Monographs 20: 31–54.Google Scholar
  7. Corbett K. 1989. Conservation of European Reptiles and Amphibians. Christopher Helm, London.Google Scholar
  8. Duguy R. and Baron J.P. 1998. La cistude d'Europe, Emys orbicularis, dans le Marais de Brouage (Charente Maritime):Cycle d 'activité, thermorégulation, déplacements, reproduction et croissance. Annales de la Sociétédes Sciences Naturelles de la Charente-Maritime 8: 781–803.Google Scholar
  9. Gibbons J.W. 1990. The Slider Turtle. Life History and Ecology of the Slider Turtle. Smithonian Institution Press, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  10. Herbold B. and Moyle B.P. 1986. Introduced species and vacant niches. The American Naturalist 128: 751–760.Google Scholar
  11. Hutchinson V.H. 1979. Thermoregulation in Turtles, Perspectives and Research. Wiley–Interscience Publication, New York, pp. 207–246.Google Scholar
  12. Kareiva P. 1996. Developing a predictive ecology for non-indigenous species and ecological invasions. Ecology 77: 1651–1652.Google Scholar
  13. Lebboroni M. and Chelazzi G. 1991. Activity patterns of Emys orbicularis L. (Chelonia Emydidae) in central Italy. Ethology, Ecology and Evolution 3: 257–268.Google Scholar
  14. Lodge D.M. 1993. Biological Invasions:Lessons for Ecology. TREE 8: 133–137.Google Scholar
  15. Luiselli L., Capula M., Capizzi D., Filippi E., Trujillo Jesus V. and Anibaldi C. 1997. Problems for conservation of pond turtles (Emys orbicularis)in central Italy:is the introduced red-eared turtle (Trachemys scripta)a serious threat? Chelonian Conservation and Biology 2: 417–419.Google Scholar
  16. Martinez-Silvestre A., Soler J., Sole R., Gonzalez F.X. and Sampere X. 1997. Nota sobre la reproduccion en condiciones naturales de la tortuga de Florida (Trachemys scripta elegans) en Masquefa (Cataluna, Espana). Boletin de la Asociacion Herpetologica Espanola 8: 40–43.Google Scholar
  17. Moll E.O. 1995. The turtle Trachemys scripta and the pet trade. Aliens 2: 3.Google Scholar
  18. Newberry R. 1984. The American red-eared terrapin in South Africa. African Wildlife 38: 186–189.Google Scholar
  19. Rollinat R. 1934. La vie des reptiles de la France centrale. Delagrave, Paris, France.Google Scholar
  20. Servan J. 1989. Emys orbicularis in Atlas de répartition des amphibiens et des reptiles de France. Société Herpétologique de France, Paris, France, pp. 106–107.Google Scholar
  21. Shigesada N. and Kawasaki K. 1997. Biological Invasions: Theory and Practice. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.Google Scholar
  22. Telecky T.M. 2001. United States import and export of live turtles and tortoises. Turtle and Tortoise Newsletter 4: 8–13.Google Scholar
  23. Vermeij G.J. 1991. When biotas meet:understanding biotic interchange. Science 253: 1099–1104.Google Scholar
  24. Warwick C. 1991. Conservation of red-eared terrapins Trachemys scripta elegans: threats from international pet and culinary markets. B.C.G.Testudo 3: 34–44.Google Scholar
  25. Williamson M. 1996. Biological Invasions. Chapman & Hall, London.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Cadi
    • 1
    • 2
  • P. Joly
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.UMR CNRS 5023 Ecologie des Hydrosystèmes FluviauxUniversité Claude Bernard Lyon 1Villeurbanne CedexFrance
  2. 2.Fondation Pierre VérotsSaint-Jean-de-ThurigneuxFrance

Personalised recommendations