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Don't Let Your Pet Be A Threat
Keep Pet Turtles Out of Our Waterways
You may believe that by releasing your pet turtle you are giving it a new lease on life. But think twice before you let your pet go – your actions could harm local turtle populations.
Originally from the US and Mexico, red eared sliders are a globally popular pet. The US exports 3-4 million/year. In Ontario they are considered “exotic”. But once released, they have been known to successfully overwinter and even breed – often competing for the same resources as wild turtles.
The ex-pet threat: exotic turtles are vectors for disease
All but one of Ontario’s eight native turtle species are now at-risk. These species are further threatened when they come in contact with sick sliders. Biologists warn that by releasing captive turtles into the wild, we could unwittingly threaten the lives of local turtles who are not immune to new disease. This can be a game-changer for those species already on the brink.
Pledge to Protect!
Show us you care by pledging to keep your aquatic pets out of Ontario’s waterways and wetlands. If you need to bid farewell to your pet, find it an adoptive home. Keep it, and other wildlife, safe from harm.
Pets and ponds don't mix: Lucky and her friend will be forced to face the harsh reality of winter after a summer of fun. Photo: Scott Gillingwater)
Who can I contact if I can no longer care for my pet?
Try contacting Little Res Q or your local aquarium society to help find your turtle an adoptive home
Can I report my red-eared turtle sighting?
You sure can! If you have observed a red-eared slider sighting in the wild, please report it. This data helps inform ecologists about turtle distribution in Ontario.
Submit your sighting online using the Ontario Turtle Tally's web form.