The National Parks and Wildlife Service at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage has put out an alert for the invasive alien species Pond Slider (trachemys scripta). The Pond Sliders re recently identified in The Lough, Cork City and the National Botanic Gardens, Dublin. Pond Sliders have 3 subspecies: Red-Eared Slider, Yellow-Bellied Slider and Cumberland Slider.
The main pathway of introduction for this species is through pet owners releasing them into the wild. Pond sliders are generally sold as hatchlings, they can grow to 30cm and live for up to 50 years. When the pets can no longer be cared for they are released into the wild. It should be noted that they cannot reproduce in Ireland’s climate.
While this discovery is not a cause for alarm since the species has been long established in the country, it is a reminder to be vigilant so as to not allow its further spread.