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 Post subject: Sliders in CO - Advice please
PostPosted: March 20th, 2012, 5:34 pm 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 12:54 pm
Posts: 259
Location: Colorado
Hello ladies, gentleman and transgendered individuals. I was hoping to get some advice on what to do about the apparent introduction and establishment of red eared sliders here in the greater Denver area.

Over the last few years my friends and i have observed a dozen or so large adults in a number of different ponds near residential areas. The concerning thing is that they are appearing very early in the year (march) so it suggests they successfully overwintered in the ponds. I have not seen or heard of any babies, or other evidence of breedings. Since they appear to be able to survive the winters and have been documented in several locations, i'm concerned they may become firmly established and start to spread.

Im not sure what impact they might have if they become widespread around here, but i thought it might be a good idea to submit some of the findings to the Division of Wildlife and let them decide what, if anything, to do about it.

Last year i wrote up a short letter that basically stated where they were found, how many and when, but never sent it out.

My question to you guys is do you think i should go ahead and submit these findings? If so, what info should i include?

I thought it might be a good idea to bring this to the attention of the "authorities", even if they don't do anything about it. To my knowledge, this species has not been noted as being introduced in the state.

Thanks for any suggestions.


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 Post subject: Re: Sliders in CO - Advice please
PostPosted: March 20th, 2012, 6:24 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 4:26 pm
Posts: 559
Location: Gainesville, FL
Hey Joe, unfortunately I don't think they will do much about this problem. How large are the ponds? I'm wondering because it could be nearly impossible to get all these turtles out of large ponds, or even medium ponds. These turtles easily overwinter in very cold situations and also have the ability to not need to brumate. Being highly adaptable and have already spread, I think it's probably too late.
You think it's a recent introduction or just something you may recently noticed?
I do commend you for trying and wish you luck in whatever you decide to do. Hopefully you CAN do something or get someone to do something about it.

-Jake


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 Post subject: Re: Sliders in CO - Advice please
PostPosted: March 20th, 2012, 6:47 pm 
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Joined: June 8th, 2010, 12:54 pm
Posts: 259
Location: Colorado
Hey Jake, thanks for your opinion. I agree that they probably wouldn't actively do anything in terms of trying to remove them. I guess i thought it might just be something they would want to have an awareness of. For all i know, they could have been in various ponds around here since red eared sliders became popular in the pet trade decades ago. I cant recall when our state field guide was updated (late 90's or early 2000's maybe) but there is no mention of them in there. It may not be a big deal at all, but i thought i'd see what you guys thought about it. Part of me wants to submit the info just so that in the future we'll have at least some formal starting point from which we can say they were present. Thanks again.

Also, the ponds range from about an acre in size to one of the largest resevoires in the state that is several thousand square acres.


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 Post subject: Re: Sliders in CO - Advice please
PostPosted: March 20th, 2012, 9:37 pm 
I ran across some RES about 3 years ago, so I contacted Tina. At that time, she said they would send someone to remove the turtles. It was only one small pond though. I've been back since and haven't seen them around, so it's possible they actually removed the turtles. I'd be interested to hear what she says if you contact her on this issue.


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 Post subject: Re: Sliders in CO - Advice please
PostPosted: March 20th, 2012, 11:12 pm 
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 5:19 am
Posts: 1938
Location: Redding, CA
We have them in a few ponds here in Redding, where they currently appear to out number the pond turtles.
They definitely over winter but I do not believe they are sustainably reproducing. I believe most if not all population recruitment is the direct result of released pets.

Until people stop purchasing them and then releasing them, they will continue to be in urban areas.

I have not seen them away from population centers here, so it seems they stay in the ponds in the urban areas and are not, at least currently, expanding.

I have heard of them in the cottonwood creek drainage but when I read a field report of extensive surveys there (looking for Rana draytonii but documenting all herps encountered) there were large number of WPT and only a single RES, so probably not established there or anywhere else non urban.

Are your RES in urban areas or away from urban centers? If urban, I suspect there's nothing you can do, they will just be replenished on a yearly basis.


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 Post subject: Re: Sliders in CO - Advice please
PostPosted: March 24th, 2012, 10:58 am 

Joined: June 7th, 2010, 10:27 am
Posts: 857
Location: Colorado
Joe,
I go to a couple of ponds in the Denver metro area where RES are firmly established. I see juveniles every year, in fact saw several yesterday. I don't think CPW would commit resources to removing them, but I've never asked.


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